Looking to please your palate with something new on the menu? We asked sommeliers and wine directors from local restaurants to suggest wines to pair with their new and signature offerings for fall.
Matthew Dulle, Saint Louis Club
--2004 Nicholson Jones Cabernet Sauvignon or 2000 La Croix de Beaucaillou with Black Angus New York Sirloin Steak: The pan-seared steak is served with a Marchand du Vin sauce, roasted bone marrow flan and Allumette potatoes. The rich, developed flavors of the hearty, cold-weather dish pair well with both Old World and New World wines. After eight years, the tannins of the California cabernet have developed into a nice, round flavor profile, while the alcohol has toned down so as not to overwhelm the food. As a second label of the Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, the merlot-based La Croix offers a value-priced option to pair with the traditional French dish.
--2007 Orlando Abrigo Barbaresco with Ravioli of Porcini Mushrooms and Truffles: Fresh-egg pasta ravioli is served with a traditional French perigourdine sauce, made with truffles, butter, Madeira wine and stock. With the Barbaresco coming from Piedmont in northern Italy, where lots of mushrooms and truffles also are found, the pairing follows the idea that what grows together goes well together. The earthiness of the wine matches the earthiness of the ingredients, while possessing an acidity to balance the heavier jus.
--Rene Geoffroy Ratafia de la Champagne with Shellfish Consommé with Old Madeira: The delicate soup is paired with a petite agnolotti of lobster. A different style of wine to go alongside the dish, the Ratafia is unfermented grape juice from Champagne mixed with brandy. The juice provides sweetness, while the alcohol cuts the richness of the dish. The almond and hazelnut notes of the Madeira also pair nicely with the fortified wine.
Phil Bagi, Big Sky Cafe
--2009 Cloudline Pinot Gris with Warmed Local Autumn Veggie Salad: A non-leaf salad of roasted sweet potatoes, onions, turnips, golden and red beets, carrots and garlic is tossed with white truffle oil, balsamic vinegar and goat cheese. The pinot gris from Oregon features crisp peach and grapefruit flavors with floral hints, and the acidity of the wine cuts the richness of the cheese and sweet potatoes, while complementing the heartiness of the salad.
--2009 Mercedes Eguren with Cajun Étouffée: The dish is a twist on the traditional étouffée, replacing crawfish with shrimp, mussels, spicy sausage and chicken with tomatoes. Pairing it with a Spanish wine that is a blend of shiraz and tempranillo, with an earthiness and black currant notes, balances the spicy cayenne and paprika essence of the roux.
--2011 Block Nine Pinot Noir with Wenneman Farms B.L.T.: A classic sandwich is made with local bacon and tomatoes, lettuce and mayo on toasted sourdough. The substantial amount of smoked bacon pairs well with the earthy tones and woody finish of the lighter red from Caiden’s Vineyard in California.
Christian Ghement, Giovanni’s on the Hill
--2010 Four Graces Pinot Noir with Veal Saltimbocca alla Giovanni’s: Veal scallopine is topped with prosciutto and fontina and finished with a white wine sauce and fresh sage. The sweet and salty veal and prosciutto play well off of the spicy, earthy tones of the pinot noir from Willamette Valley in Oregon
--Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc with Grigliata di Scampi Dorati: Jumbo shrimp is dusted with breadcrumbs, charbroiled and served with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and capers. The fresh fruit profiles of the sauvignon blanc pair well with seafood as a lighter fall dish.
--Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon with Osso Buco: A dish only offered during the fall and winter, a veal shank is seared in olive oil and then baked in a fresh tomato sauce with onions, carrots and celery until the meat falls off the bone. Served with risotto Milanese, the osso buco is a hearty meal with rich flavors that are balanced by the notes and finish of the cabernet from Napa Valley.
Peter Beem, Cielo
--2005 Argiano Solengo with Pappardelle Pasta with Barbera-Braised Pork Shank: A new dish for the fall menu, the house-made pasta dish uses Berkshire pork from local Jones Heritage Farm and is topped with horseradish gremolata. The Solengo from Tuscany is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz. The rich, concentrated wine offers a green herbal quality that pulls out the fall flavors of the dish, including the juniper berries that are used in the braising of the meat.
--Regaleali Rosso Sicilia with Veal and Truffle Ravioli with Ozark Forest Mushrooms: The pasta dish is served with a truffle-butter sauce and topped with Parmiggiano-Reggiano. The medium-bodied red wine from Sicily provides an Italian acidity with well-balanced flavors of cherries and raspberries and interesting non-fruit aromas of tobacco and spicy black pepper that do not overpower the food. The rusticity of the Old World wine goes well with the earthiness of the veal and mushrooms, making a good pairing for the cooler, fall weather.
--Allegrini Palazzo della Torre with Ahi Tuna over Eggplant Caponata: A popular menu item at Cielo, the tuna is crusted with fennel and mustard seeds, then seared rare and served on top of a caponata with eggplant, Kalamata olives, capers and pine nuts. The strong flavors of the dish stand well up to the medium-bodied red from northeastern Italy, which offers the essence of dried cherries and blackberries, as well as bitter chocolate, espresso and licorice.