Perfect Pairing Series: Sarr n' Zalad
We love putting food and wine together, but we're a bit wary of much fuss over pairings. The idea of a "perfect pairing" comes from reality; great synergy between food and beverage is achievable, but incredible pairings exist in a rather rarefied realm. Unless you're working closely with a well-stocked cellar and talented chef, mind-blowing pairings might be few and far between. At Craft and Cru, we try to keep it simple. You'll hear us say "drink what you like" and "try not to clash" with alacrity and frequency. Don't drink your big cab with cod, keep sweetness in mind (the wine should almost always be sweeter than the food), and try your favorite wine (or beer, or whatever) with everything... it'll probably do the trick and it might just sing a special tune. We do not, however, mean to say that you should not aspire to great culinary heights chez vous; you can play the role of prodigious chef-sommelier at home and we are here to help!
We recently picked up some lemon basil from Twelve Moon Farm at the Milton Farmers Market, and stumbled upon a spectacular pairing in which it plays an integral role. Check out the recipe and our suggested pairing below.
Ingredients: Melon (preferably something green-fleshed, we used a Galia)1-2 Cucumbers 1 Scallion Fresh Lemon Basil Fresh Mint Lemon EVOO
Directions: Chop melon. Peel and slice cucumber. Thinly slice the scallion greens, add according to taste (we took it easy). Tear the herbs, we used quite a bit. Combine everything with a dash of olive oil (something bright and grassy would be ideal) and fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste. We did not add salt, and we don't the salad needs it, though one might consider it. Other herbs should work as well, but we think the lively cooling qualities of mint and lemon basil were key to our success. We also encourage serving this dish in between two savory courses, or after the main course, before cheese or dessert.
Pair this salad with a young, delicately sweet, and highly aromatic riesling. Something fresh and acidic, with high-toned herbal aromas, like a classic Saar or Ruwer, would be ideal. We have several rieslings to recommend, but none more highly than those of Hofgut Falkenstein. Their Kabinett and Spatlese bottlings would be our top picks for this pairing. Tell us you tried today's suggested pairing and earn our everlasting endearment. Speak ill of Riesling in our presence and face banishment from our domain of delicacy and delectability... just kidding, we're nice, even if you don't get Riesling.