Nothing completes a decadent dining experience like the perfect pairing of fine wine and five-star fare. Indulge in these recommendations from some of the city’s top wine connoisseurs.
Cory Cuff, Cielo Restaurant & Bar
When it comes to choosing the best bottle of wine in Cielo’s cellar, manager Cory Cuff notes nothing tops Gaja Sito Moresco. The rich red wine starts out with a dry, cherry taste, then finishes with a nice bit of spice on the back end, he explains. “You cannot go wrong with this wine.”
The selection’s complexity, with its high tannin and acidity levels, is strong enough to stand up to a bold dish, such as a braised lamb shank, cured by Cielo sous chef Shimon Diamond, along with winter vegetable ragout, lardo and grilled polenta. This “knockout” wine and “winning” dish make for the perfect pairing, Cuff says.
Tom Bush, Balaban’s Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar
Tom Bush, retail wine manager at Balaban’s, says the best classic combination is Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon with a New York strip steak. “That’s about as good as it gets,” he says. The bold, red wine complements the steak’s heavy fat marbling, Bush explains. “Napas have a lot of tannin, which means they are big and bold, and have a lot of bite.” And a rich, chocolate dessert is the perfect ending to a meal with cabernet, he adds.
For those looking for a more unique pairing, Bush recommends an appetizer of oysters on the half-shell with muscadet, a dry, crisp, French white wine that mixes seamlessly with the seafood’s fresh, salty flavor.
Ryland Adams, Vino Nadoz Wine Bar & Café
There is a fine wine best-suited for each course of a meal, notes Ryland Adams, bar manager at Vino Nadoz.
When opening one of their cellar favorites—F. Weins Prum Reisling—Adams and the café’s chefs recommend enjoying the sweet white wine with with an appetizer of housemade sweet potato chips with cinnamon spice and marshmallow sauce for a sweet and spicy combination.
The spicy Cedarville Zinfandel pairs well with the rich flavor of the short rib BLT main course, Ryland says. And its Byron Chardonnay is best savored with a side of gnocchi with pumpkin, butter sage sauce and toasted hazelnuts.
For dessert, Ryland recommends muscat, a great light and sweet dessert wine, to couple with homemade apple pie and vanilla ice cream.