Perfect Food & Wine Pairings in Dalmatia, Croatia


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(Original content by Cliff Rames; competition results translated & adapted by Cliff Rames from the report by Dalmacija Wine Expo. Original report can be viewed at: http://www.dalmacijawineexpo.com/novosti/perfect_matsch/)

Now for something short and sweet!

One of the more interesting events at the recent Dalmacija Wine Expo, held May 13-15, 2010 in the seaside resort town of Makarska, Croatia, was the “Perfect Match” wine and food pairing competition.

photo courtesy of Dalmacija Wine Expo

Some of the most experienced chefs from some of Croatia’s best restaurants in Dalmatia joined together to prepare a selection of traditional gastronomic delights that are representative of Croatia’s seaside cuisine.

photo courtesy of Dalmacija Wine Expo

These dishes were then paired with various wines from the different wine regions of Croatia. Then a panel of 30 judges, which included chefs and journalists, rated the pairings and chose the top 5 perfect matches.

photo courtesy of Dalmacija Wine Expo

Below are the results of the match up, one in each of five wine-style categories. Most interestingly is the fact that one winning “perfect match” (#1) was a pairing between a traditional coastal seafood dish and a wine from the continental (inland) region of Croatia. Another winning match was a wine made from an international variety and not an indigenous grape, paired with a domestic specialty from the Dalmatia region.

photo by Cliff Rames

As they say, sometimes the best marriage is one of opposites!

1. In the category of fresh, young, light-bodied wines, the winner is:

Cmrečnjak Silvanac Zeleni ’09 (Sylvaner) paired with cuttlefish salad with an emulsion of olive oil and citrus.  (Runners-up in this category included Grabovac 2009 Kujundžuša & Štampar 2009 Sauvignon Blanc.) 

photo courtesy of http://www.coolinarika.com

2. In the category of fresh yet mature, full-bodied wines, the winner is:

Kunjas Pošip ’08 paired with marinated Bonito fish with roasted pine nuts, shallots & raisins.  (The runner-up in this category was Grk Pillos Bire 2008.)

  
 
 
 
 

photo courtesy of http://www.coolinarika.com

3. In the category of mature, full-bodied white wine & rosé, the winner is:

Grabovac 2008 Chardonnay sur lie Grand Reserva paired with homemade pasta tossed with shrimp and asparagus. (The runner-up in this category was Krauthaker 2008 Chardonnay Rosenberg.)

Photo © Flickr user Allerina and Glen MacLarty

4. In the category of mature yet soft red wines with predominately fruity character, the winner is:

Kunjas 2008 Pagadebit paired with lamb, fava beans and peas. (Runners-up in this category included Crvik Canavia 2008 Merlot; Festigia 2008 Merlot; & Plavac P.Z. Kuna 2008.)

   
 

photo courtesy of http://www.coolinarika.com

5. In the category of mature, full-bodied red wine, the unanimous winner is:

photo by Cliff Rames

Saints Hills Winery 2008 Dingač (Plavac Mali) paired with veal cheeks a’la pašticada (a traditional piquant sauce made with tomatoes, red wine, Prošek, Mediterranean herbs and spices). 

photo courtesy of http://www.coolinarika.com

Now imagine we are by the Adriatic Sea in an outdoor café filled with friends and lovers; a full moon is shining; the evening breezes are cooling our sun-warmed skin; live Klapa music is playing (it’s ok to sing along!); and all of the food and wine mentioned above is spread out before us on the table….Perfect indeed!

photo courtesy of http://www.digitaljournal.com

I hope to see you there….

www.winesofcroatia.com

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