SIX COURSES, THE WINE for ENTREE: Lighter-style red works best with this entree

Allison and Scott Helfen

Allison and Scott Helfen

This week’s recipe from Renton Technical College is Roast Beef Tenderloin Aux Farci and Butter Poached Lobster Tail with Crispy Shallots and Corn Cakes. One of the rules for pairing wine with food is to pair similar flavors and textures. For example, you would pair light wines with delicate foods and full body wines with rich foods.

In our recipe, we have a combination of beef and shellfish. Most people would pair the steak with red wine and the lobster with a full bodied white wine. However, the white wine does not go well with the steak. So what would you choose? Choose a lighter-styled red wine that won’t supersede the flavors of the lobster, yet one that will stand up with the steak. Answer? A pinot noir.

Pinot noir is from the Burgundy region of France and also grows very well in Oregon and California. The flavor profiles can range from light and fruity to full bodied and tannic. We have chosen three domestic Pinots that fall in the middle range of the flavor profiles.

Walnut City Wineworks Willamette Valley pinot noir 2007 $18.99

Buttery nose with flavors of bright red fruit, earthiness and spice.

Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 $49.99

The nose is bright red cherry, red currant, chocolate and sweet spices. The mouthfeel is generous, with bright red berry and high-toned sweet spices finishing with good acid and fine tannins.

Golden Eye Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 $89.99

This wine is all about elegance and a persistent velvety texture, but with a firmness that testifies to its ageability. The aroma is rich with strawberry, plum, star anise and violets. Potent boysenberry and strawberry fruit coat the palate, with cinnamon and clove underlying the fruit and earth.

Another tip for serving pinot noir is to make sure you serve it at the proper temperature. Most people serve their red wines at “room temperature;” but during the hot summer months, that is not recommended. Lighter red wines, such as pinot noir should be served between 55 and 59 degrees. One rule of thumb is to put your Pinot in your refrigerator about 20 minutes before you serve it.

All of the wines mentioned can be purchased at The Wine Alley, located in the Fairwood area of Renton. Specializing in wine consultation, their personal service staff will help you with all of your menu pairing needs. 14276 S.E. 176th St., Renton, WA 98058. 425-271-4501.

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