5 Wine and Food Pairings from Vintage Enoteca Sommelier Danielle Francois
It's rare that a small wine bar has an onsite sommelier. It's even rarer that a restaurant has a female sommelier. Vintage Enoteca has both in Danielle Francois who, along with Jennifer Moore, owns the Hollywood wine bar.
Jessica Koslow Pulled Pork Sliders and Quinta de Saes
Their philosophy is simple: Wines should be accessible, affordable and, most important, people should like what they drink. The two ex-New York City advertising execs gravitate toward boutique productions and family-owned estates, which produce indigenous varietals, in Europe, California and the Pacific Northwest.
"I pick out cool, off the beaten path wines that you don't find everywhere," says Francois. One of her specialties is food and wine pairings. Throughout the year, she plans themed pairings, but she's also available on the spot for customers who are adventurous -- or unsure -- and looking for suggestions. This weekend, June 14-16, she's put together an All-American Snack Food Mashup and Wine Tasting with sophisticated twists on classic snack foods like Cracker Jacks, pork rinds and Oreos. Turn the page for five of Francois' food and wine pairings.
Wine: Kir-Yianni "Petra," Macedonia, Greece, 2011 (white)
Jessica Koslow Warm Farro Salad and Petra
Suggested Foods: light salads, salty cheeses, Mediterranean diet
Says Francois, "I'm a fan of white wines that aren't that fruity. I find that they're a little more food versatile when there're not big, lip-smacky fruit flavors bowling over the rest of the flavors in the wine. This is a Greek wine with indigenous varietals from Macedonia. It's not too fruity with an undercurrent of citrus and peach and apricot, but it's got a nice crisp, snappy salinity on the finish. It's food versatile. In our warm farro salad, it brings out the snappiness of the flavor of the English peas. And feta is indigenous to Greece. I am a fan of what grows together, goes together."
Wine: Filipa Pato "FP" Branco, Beira, Portugal, 2011 (white)
Jessica Koslow Gnocchi and FP
Suggested Foods: creamy dishes, mac-n-cheese, chicken salad
"This is a Portuguese white from Filipa Pato, an amazing female winemaker in the Beira region. It's not fruity. Unlike the previous Greek white, this one has more of a round lusciousness in your mouth. It's not as snappy in terms of acid and salinity on the finish. This one has a nice green pineapple, sweet corn, lime undercurrent to it. And that round light creaminess in your mouth helps pick up the creaminess of our gnocchi dish. But again, we're keeping these light and fresh for summer."
Wine: Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina "Rubentis," Basque Country, Spain, 2012 (rosé)
Jessica Koslow Deviled Eggs with Lox and Rubentis
Suggested Foods: salty snacks, fried foods, cheese
"Txakolina is a rosé from the Basque Country in Northern Spain. It's usually a white wine, but this one is a blend of an indigenous red and white varietal. Finding a Txakolina rosé is very unusual. This one has a pronounced lime flavor with candied red fruit. It's refreshing in terms of picking up the brininess of our lox deviled eggs and cutting the creaminess that's common in deviled eggs."
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