In Case You Missed It…

…or couldn’t hear over the band at the 2 Rivers Wine Fest, here are two handouts discussing a bit about Illinois Wine varieties and food and wine pairing.

1. Illinois Wine Varieties

White

Grape Wine Styles Aromas and Flavors Food Pairing
Chardonel Oak-aged dryUn-oaked dry

Semi-dry

Sweet

 

Light citrus, often accented with grassy or spicy notes.  When oaked, added buttery and vanilla aromas. Lightly seasoned/sauced chicken and fish, pumpkin/squash, white pasta sauces, most cheeses, seafood.
Frontenac gris Semi-sweet to dessert Intense aromas of peach, pineapple, apricot, occasionally citrus.  Very crisp acidity. Brie-style cheeses, blue cheeses, desserts, fruit.
La Crescent Semi-sweet to dessert Intense aromas of apricot and grapefruit, sometimes muscat-like. Brie-style cheeses, blue cheeses, desserts, fruit.
Niagara Semi-sweet to dessert “Grapey”, like white grape juice. Could pair well with cheeses and fruits.
Seyval blanc Lightly oakedUn-oaked

Semi-dry

Sweet

 

Peach, grapefruit, pineapple, at its best can have a subtle grassy complexity.  Aromas typically very light to intense depending on season. Light cheeses, seafood, fowl, pasta in light, herbed, sauces.
St. Pepin Semi-sweet to dessert Apple and pear, light floral, light labrusca character. Sweet foods, dessert, fruit dishes.
Traminette Dry to sweet, no oak Intensely aromatic, floral aromas, can have accents of ginger and mint. Ham, prosciutto, fruit-marinated pork, may match well with spicy Chinese or Thai dishes.
Vidal blanc Un-oaked drySemi-dry to sweet

Dessert

Crisp citrus flavors, sometimes has peach or apple character.  Often used for icewine production in Canada. Seafood, pasta, light cheeses, salads.
Vignoles Semi-sweet to dessert Apricot, pineapple, apple.  Intensely aromatic. Brie-style cheeses, blue cheeses, fruit.

Red

Grape Wine Styles Aromas and Flavors Food Matching
Cabernet franc Oak-aged dryUn-oaked dry Bright berry with black and bell pepper.  Typically low to moderate acidity with gripping tannins. Grilled red meats and vegetables.
Chambourcin Oak-aged dryUn-oaked dry

Semi-dry to sweet

Rosé

Port

Dried fruits, cherry, berry, often accented with tobacco.  Usually low in acidity and tannin. Wild fowl and venison, peppered pork loin.
Concord Sweet, Un-oaked Intense grapey character, often called “foxy”, like red grape juice or jelly Can be useful in cooking as a marinade, adds unique flavors to meat, sausages, cheeses
Frontenac Oak-aged dryUn-oaked dry

Semi-dry to sweet

Rosé

Port

Distinct and intense cherry aroma, often accompanied with anise, mint, or cedar spices when aged in oak.  Tends to be high in acid, but low in tannin. Pork, fatty meats, soft cheeses.  Rose works well with light pork dishes, possibly with salads.  Port is a nice compliment to chocolate desserts
Marechal Foch Oak-aged dryUn-oaked dry

Semi-dry to sweet

Rosé

Light berry, distinctive varietal aroma.  Often high in acidity, but low in tannin. Wild game meats, venison, turkey.
Marquette Oak-aged dryUn-oaked dry Cherry and berry aromas, often with complex spice, earth, and oak notes if aged in barrels.  Low to moderate tannin. Light meats and cheeses, mushroom sauces.
Noiret Oak-aged-dryUn-oaked dry

Off-dry

Distinct red fruit with bell and black pepper.  Moderate tannin. Grilled red meat and vegetables, spiced dishes.
Norton Oak-aged dryPort Intense aromas, dark berry, cigar box, spice.  Crisp acidity, and significant tannin. Heavy red meat dishes, aged cheeses.

2. Food and Wine Handout – Matching Food and Wine Volume/Intensity

 

Light/Quiet

Medium

Heavy/Loud

Ingredients

Fish

Shellfish

Vegetables

Pork

Poultry

Veal

Game

Beef

Lamb

Techniques

Boil

Poach

Steam

Bake

Sauté

Roast

Braise

Grill

Stew

Sauces

Citrus

Vinaigrette

Butter

Cream

Olive Oil

Glaze

BBQ

Meat Stock

Wine Characteristics

No oak/mlf

High acidity

No residual sugar

No tannin

Light aroma and flavor

Light oak and/or mlf

Moderate aciditiy

Semi-dry to semi-sweet

Low to moderate tannin

Moderate aroma and flavor

Heavy oak

Low acidity

High residual sugar

Moderate to intense tannin

Intense aroma and flavor

The city of Ottawa and festival organizers should be proud of what they put together this year.  Great event with solid turnout for the first year.  Next year should be even bigger and better!

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About localpour

Winemaker, scientist, educator.
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