Monday, April 30, 2007

Wine & 'Shrooms

From local paper ...

Making the match with mushrooms
The old rules for red and white aren't hard, fast


Special to The Washington Post

Vintages: Making the match with mushrooms:

"We've come to think of mushrooms as the red meat of the vegetable kingdom (even though we know they're technically fungi) because — almost invariably — the sometimes-earthy, sometimes-meaty flavor of mushrooms says 'red wine'' to us. In fact, it's hard for us to think of mushrooms without immediately having pinot noir come to mind. The two are a match made in heaven.

Of course, mushrooms don't have a singular flavor profile, as they range from the mildest of button mushrooms to porcini that pack a punch. Each suggests a different wine pairing, from lighter-bodied and more delicate for the former to fuller-bodied and more powerful for the latter.

One-time sommelier Scott Calvert, now a fine-wine consultant to restaurants and private collectors, (, was happy to share some of his mushroom pairing secrets with us.

"Earthy mushrooms pair best with earthy wines,'' Calvert advises, in explaining why he pairs black trumpets, chanterelles and shiitakes with earthy reds such as Burgundy, nebbiolo and pinot noir. We've found earthy mushrooms a great match with one of the best-value earthy reds around: Kenwood Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Likewise, meaty mushrooms — such as cremini, morels, porcini and portobellos — pair best with meaty wines, among which Calvert counts pinot noir (which "can go either way'' as earthy or meaty), sangiovese and syrah/shiraz. We recently sampled a meaty Kenwood Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon that shined with a portobello-topped steak."

As we're just back from Russian River area, will have to look up some Pinot and get to work.

And if you don't forage for your own morels get them ... here


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