Friday, March 2, 2007
Review | Pairings with Andrea
On a recent episode of Pairings with Andrea, Andrea Immer-Robinson – the first woman ever chosen Best Sommelier in the United States and one of only 14 women in the world who have been appointed Master Sommelier by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers – paired one of my favorite types of wine with an easy and tasty menu. She whipped up a meal of cold sesame noodles, coconut milk & curry shrimp soup and steamed vegetables with rice wine vinaigrette and paired them with a California Sauvignon Blanc. I decided to test drive the menu and see how it fared. First off, I couldn’t get my hands on the recommended wine (Flora Springs Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc), but the friendly folks at Sam’s Wine & Spirits suggested a suitable substitution: Beckmen Vineyards Estate Sauvignon Blanc. As for the menu, I felt that three dishes would be too much food for just myself and Chris, so I chose to make the sesame noodles and soup.
The verdict: the recipes were very simple and easy to prepare. Most of the ingredients are items that you can keep on hand in your pantry or freezer – canned tomatoes, frozen shrimp, lime, cilantro, peanut butter, coconut milk, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, spaghetti and chicken broth. I prepared both dishes – from start to finish – in under an hour. So how did they pair with the wine? Perfectly. The Sauvignon Blanc was a wonderful complement to the acidity of the lime juice, the richness and sweetness of the peanut butter and the herbal notes of the cilantro. I would definitely make the cold sesame noodles again. And tomorrow, I might try the steamed vegetables to serve with the leftover soup.
Pairings is a great show if you’re just starting to learn about wine (like me). She has a very casual approach, is obviously very knowledgeable and qualified, but manages to make wine fun and approachable. And even if you’re a wine connoisseur, I think you will still find her show to be informative and a great source of ideas.
Andrea Immer-Robinson’s website
Recipes: Pairings with Andrea “Asian Cuisine”
Sam’s Wines & Spirits
ADDENDUM TO POST (NEXT DAY):
The two things that I didn’t like about the soup were the tails on the shrimp (easily taken care of by buying shrimp without tails next time) and the chunks of tomatoes (I used a can of diced tomatoes). So, before I reheated the soup, I took out the shrimp and removed their tails. Then I used an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot and added back the shrimp. I also mixed in a tablespoon of fish sauce which I think brought another nice dimension to the soup. I prefer the leftover, reheated (and retooled) soup over the original version.