Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wine Pairing with Pumpkin Squash Soup

Did you ever stumble upon a wine and food pairing that seemed unlikely but turned out to be a winner? Sometimes you think a wine should work well with a dish but the wine is either too strong and it over powers the flavours of the meal or maybe the dish is too spicy and the wine tastes like water. Wine and food pairing can be hit and miss at times even when the pairing rules tell you that a wine should work well with certain foods.
 Recently, I was tasting a Zinfandel from Paso Robles California that I planned on writing up in this blog when my son-in-law Ben offered to make us dinner. The main course was a delicious rich pumpkin and squash soup garnished with chopped chili infused pistachios. Sounds good?...It was rich, smooth and delicous. Normally I would pair a hearty or rich vegetable based soup with a Malbec or Sauvignon Blanc but I had already opened the Zin so I decided to try it.

The 2012 Paso Creek Zinfandel paired really well for a couple of reasons.
  1. The spiciness of the chili infused pistachios gave the soup a bit of "hotness" which seemed to mellow out the relatively high alcohol content (14.5% ABV) of the Zinfandel. This brought out the dark fruit of the wine.
  2. The nuttiness of the pistachio's blended with the dark fruit of zinfandel and the creaminess of the soup blended together to produce a rich smoothy texture.
It was an unplanned wine and food pairing that turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

2012 Paso Creek Zinfandel - Paso Robles California
Aromas of dark fruit, dark chocolate and some spice. The dark fruit continues in the flavour with some mild tannins and a long fruit finish of black cherry and spice.
Price under $20 LCBO Vintages (279810)