My sommelier challenge

The real art of being a sommelier is pairing wine with food.  This past weekend we bought two terrines from Ouderkirk & Taylor – one of Guelph’s best fine food stores.  One was pheasant with hazelnuts and the other venison with pistachio. 

So what to serve?  A dry Riesling seemed in order so I chilled a bottle of Jackson-Triggs 2007 Delaine Vineyard Riesling and found a great marriage with the venison and a good pairing with the pheasant. We overwhelmingly declared the venison terrine the winner. One of our guests casually commented that she wasn’t convinced that it was the Riesling which tipped the scales in favour of the pheasant.  The gauntlet had been thrown.

I quickly declared a dry sherry in order for this experiment of the senses (Brillat-Savarin would be proud) and opened an Alvear Amontillado ( see archives Surely that’s a Sherry  ).  Guess what?  Everyone declared the pheasant the winner with this wine. This pairing food with wine is easy!

So now I come to my real challenge.  Wine and sport. Over the next two weeks I plan to pair wines with the Winter Olympics.  I feel qualified – I have a degree in Physical Education from York ( nobody ever seems impressed by that combination – I should really stop saying it ) and I have taught PE for 20 years.  That’s a lot of experience.  In fact I dare you to find a sommelier with that kind of resume.

So check in over the next two weeks as I pull myself away from the 3 billion hours of  TV coverage (or is it 3 billion viewers?) to tell you what wines pair well with the events that I am watching.

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About Travis Oke

Wine writer / consultant View all posts by Travis Oke

5 responses to “My sommelier challenge

  • pdpace

    Dustin and I are desperately trying to watch all of the hockey we can over here. (pirated internet sites anyone? – The Italians are NOT that into it!) I’m looking forward to seeing what wine pairs up well with all of that ice! Auguri a tutti in Canada!

  • John

    I had no idea you were doing this wine thing – that’s so cool. Of course I’m now looking forward to your Olympic parings. I have some good BC wines to suggest – and I’ve tried the Sparkling
    Non Vintage Tribute (VQA Okanagan Valley) and it would be worth drinking when Canada takes its first gold medal.

  • Julie Hubbard

    Looking forward to the pairings. Have to admit, the South African Two Oceans Chardonnay is currently not working with the men’s moguls …

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