Shielded by the Alps’ towering, snow-capped peaks lies Alto Adige, Italy’s northernmost wine area. There, a mix of influences yields scrumptious outcomes. German — not Italian — is the most typical language spoken within the verdant, sprawling vineyards. Probably the most prodigious grapes are typically French, and formed by native Italian know-how within the type of knowledgeable growers and creative vintners. This confluence of cultures has helped propel Alto Adige to worldwide renown, in addition to some particularly delectable indigenous grape varietals, just like the dark-skinned Schiava, and Lagrein, a grandchild of Pinot. Right this moment, the area’s world-class wines are beloved not just for their advanced taste profiles, but in addition their chameleon-like capability to pair completely with a variety of components and cuisines.
Throughout the globe, cooks and restaurateurs have taken observe, monitoring down Alto Adige bottlings for his or her wine lists and designing complete menus round them. Need to recreate the identical Alto Adige magic at house? Right here’s how a handful of American eating places and bars impressively pair dishes with Alto Adige wines.
Macaroni and Cheese with Müller-Thurgau (Bar Covell, Los Angeles)
At Los Angeles’s intimate Bar Covell, a candlelit wine and beer bar stuffed with low picket tables, macaroni and cheese is topped with ribbon-like slices of speck and calls for a bracing wine to chop via its wealthy, creamy layers. Enter Müller-Thurgau, an acid-forward cross between crisp Riesling and Madeline Royale grapes. Grown on steep, stony inclines, the grapes translate to bottlings with pleasing minerality and aromas of lilac, citrus, and black currant. “It washes your palate to make you prepared for the subsequent chew,” says Bar Covell beverage director Matt Kaner.
Jagerwurst with St. Magdalener Classico (Table, Donkey and Stick, Chicago)
Vivid on the palate with daring, crimson fruit taste, St. Magdalener Classico — a DOC reserved for wines made with grapes grown in St. Magdalena, St. Justina, St. Peter, Rentsch and Leitach — is a tempting mix of native Schiava and Lagrein grapes. The wine’s savory, earthy tones are a pitch-perfect match for smoky hyperlinks of do-it-yourself jagerwurst at Chicago’s Desk, Donkey and Stick. The inn-like gathering place specializes within the mountain cuisines of France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. “The wine and the dish are each rustic, sincere, and irresistibly scrumptious,” notes Desk, Donkey and Stick proprietor Matt Sussman, who rounds out the pairing with a pillowy mound of German-style potato salad anointed with shaved fennel. “They go collectively completely.”
Spiced Beet Yogurt Dip with Kerner (Maxwell Park, Washington, D.C.)
Served alongside crunchy wisps of pink salt-dusted, kettle-style potato chips, the creamy spiced beet yogurt dip at Maxwell Park is refined in its personal proper. However when the swanky wine bar pairs the dish with Kerner, a late-budding cross between Schiava and Riesling grapes, it turns into otherworldly. “The acidity within the wine matches the tangy acidity of the dish, making a full of life, mouthwatering mixture,” says Maxwell Park founder and sommelier Brent Kroll. “The slight spice is contrasted by the juicy white peach notes within the wine. A zingy, intense, and all-around crunchy pairing!”
Roasted Swordfish and Taro Root Dumplings with Sauvignon Blanc (Commis Restaurant, San Francisco)
There are Sauvignon Blancs, after which there are Sauvignon Blancs from Alto Adige. Juicy, delicate, and mineral-rich with aromas of ripe apricot and keenness fruit, these wines channel a high quality acidity and durable construction. At Commis Restaurant in San Francisco, it’s simply the factor to raise roasted Pacific swordfish beside tender taro root dumplings. “It has the load (and a touch of oak spice) to face as much as the meaty swordfish, however retains a slight savory natural observe — I believe an ideal match for the array of natural accents within the dish,” says Commis Restaurant beverage director Mark Guilladeau, noting the dumplings’ hit of perilla and inexperienced onion. “Simply because the dish gives a full spectrum of natural flavors, the wine matches with an equally broad array of secondary aromas — and an equally broad texture,” Guilladeau concludes.
Roasted Pork Chops with Lagrein (LaLou, Brooklyn)
Blurring the road between candy and savory, the roasted pork chop at LaLou, a petite, romantic wine bar in Brooklyn, requires a exact wine to chop via its layers. Topped with an electrifying agrodolce that marries the concentrated sweetness of prunes with a snap of bitter tardivo radicchio, the dish is a research in contrasts. Beverage director David Foss likes to pair it with a dry and savory Lagrein. “The load of this wine cuts via the richness of the chop,” Foss says. “The Lagrein’s vivid cherry notes deliver out the fruit within the prune agrodolce.”
Grilled Swordfish and Artichoke Barigoule with Chardonnay (Hampton Street Vineyard, Columbia, S.C.)
Alive with fruity flavors, the Chardonnays of Alto Adige ship notes of white flowers, stone fruit, and pineapple capped by a high quality minerality. It’s simply the factor to go together with the sturdy grilled swordfish at Hampton Avenue Winery, an American tackle the French brasserie set in downtown Columbia, S.C. Beverage director Hernan Martinez seeks out critical Chardonnay bottlings with wealthy textures and vivid acidity that may stand as much as the meaty fish, which is served over a mattress of artichoke barigoule. Martinez emphasizes that the dish’s vegetable factor “is completed in a white wine and butter sauce, and enhances each the freshness and creaminess of the wine.”
Chicory Salad with Pinot Grigio (Four Seasons Philadelphia, Philadelphia)
Chicory, with its inherent bitterness, will not be an easygoing ingredient. It requires cautious balancing, which is achieved on the 4 Seasons Philadelphia with the addition of jewel-hued citrus segments, creamy slivers of avocado, and a tart pomegranate French dressing. It goes with out saying that the wine should carry out the identical balancing act. Alto Adige Pinot Grigio, typically a hue of sunshine straw and emitting aromas of ripe melon and apple, is simply the factor. It presents “the freshness to match the citrus and phenolic bitterness to match the chicories,” says beverage director Jill Davis.
Pepperoni Pizza with Lagrein (La Dive, Seattle)
Fragrant wines from Alto Adige famously pair effectively with gooey, melted cheeses. Anais Custer, proprietor of La Dive in Seattle, makes use of this to her benefit by serving her store’s old-school, thin-crust pepperoni pizza with a full-bodied, contemporary Lagrein. “With notes of boysenberry, moist stone, lillies and black tea on the palate, we name it the ‘new comforter’ wine as a result of it’s comfortable however not but damaged in!’’ Custer stated. “It’s an ideal wine for when your pizza is salty and sizzling.”
Tarte Flambé with Grüner Veltliner (Bludorn, Houston)
At Bludorn, a dreamy New American eatery with a sprawling open kitchen, the savory tart flambé is to not be missed. This French-inspired tackle a pizza conveys creamy fromage blanc, crunchy bacon lardons, and slivered Brussels sprouts. Wine director Molly Austard likes to accompany it with a structured Grüner Veltliner. “Brussels sprouts could be arduous to pair!” she says. “However the slight inexperienced notes of the Grüner are an ideal match, whereas the zippy acidity cuts via the fats of the lardons and the ginger tones complement the truffle honey.”
Steak and Potatoes with Lagrein (Apt 115, Austin, Texas)
At Apt 115, which describes itself as a “retro fancy wine bar,” the “steak and potatoes” aren’t your common steak and potatoes. Right here, dry-aged Wagyu beef tartare sits atop a petite crostini spherical topped with a nasturtium leaf and smashed tri-colored pee wee potatoes. It’s completed off with umami-rich truffle butter and a sprinkling of fennel fronds. Beverage director Joe Penebacker finds that the dish is a wonderful match for Lagrein. “It holds up properly to the tartare, and the acidity balances out the richness of the truffle butter on the potatoes,” he stated.
Antipasti with Grüner Veltliner (Barolo Grill, Denver)
Antipasti is critical enterprise at Barolo Grill, a hotspot for genuine northern Italian fare within the coronary heart of Denver. Probably the most fashionable platters is piled excessive with fatty speck, zingy horseradish-spiked crema, toasted pistachios, bitter greens, and crispy sunchoke chips. Barolo Grill sommelier Erin Lindstone likes to pair the plate with bottlings of dry, full-bodied Grüner Veltliner, which pack notes of peach, fresh-cut herbs, and white pepper. “The herbaceousness and spice of the wine play so effectively with the flavors that accompany the speck,” Lindstone notes. “Speck itself is an ingredient of Alto Adige and naturally pairs with the wines of the area.”
This text is sponsored by Alto Adige Wines.