The ideal pair­ing of lo­cal fare and Ital­ian vino

A table set­ting be­comes a cul­tural ex­change pro­gram, with Filipino culi­nary fa­vorites paired with Ital­ian wines

Red Magazine - - Editor's Note | Contents - WORDS OLIVER EMOCLING PHO­TOG­RA­PHY RG MEDESTOMAS

It isn’t com­mon to find wine from the vine­yards of Italy to be on the same table as, say, adobo. “Filipino food or Asian food, in gen­eral, is not the [kind of cui­sine] that, so far, has been paired with wines,” says som­me­lier Adri­ano Ste­fanutti of iTrulli. “But there is noth­ing that can­not be paired with wines be­cause wine is such an eclectic drink.”

In pair­ing wine with food, Ital­ians swear by the prin­ci­ple of bal­ance. “You don’t look for the con­trast; you look for the union and har­mony,” Ste­fanutti says, adding that Ital­ians use a strong word like “mar­riage” to de­scribe the or­ches­tra­tion of fla­vors in­side the mouth. To plea­sure the palate with the per­fect notes, each in­gre­di­ent from every dish should be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion be­fore pair­ing it with wine. There are no hard rules in drink­ing wine: whites can go with red meat and reds can also go well with fish. The only rule, it seems, is to fol­low a cer­tain se­quence through­out the night: from whites to reds and from wines with lower al­co­hol con­tent to stronger ones. Af­ter try­ing a few dishes with their wine coun­ter­parts, it’s not an over­state­ment to con­clude that the Ital­ians do know how to dine, no mat­ter what’s on the table.

Sal­mon Sini­gang with Egot Treb­biano Chardon­nay

Made with two kinds of grapes, the light, fruity fla­vor of the Egot Treb­biano Chardon­nay 2014 from the Emilia-Ro­magna re­gion balances the soup’s tart­ness. Treb­bianno is one of the most fre­quently grown grapes in Italy.

Fried Ban­gus with Eu­ge­nio Collavini T-Fri­u­lano

From the Fri­uli re­gion, this white wine’s acid­ity off­sets the greasi­ness of Ban­gus with­out over­pow­er­ing the palate.

Laing with Cole­sel Fei Prosecco

Trust sparkling wine to tone down the laing’s over­pow­er­ing fla­vors. For Ste­fanutti, laing is one of the most dif­fi­cult dishes to pair with wine be­cause of the in­tri­cacy of its in­gre­di­ents. Al­beit ex­tra dry, the Prosecco leaves a sweet note in the mouth.

Kaldereta with Il Mastino Ro­magna

Made with San­giovese grapes that are grown in many parts of Italy, this wine from Ro­magna is best suited with the rich kaldereta. It also proves that the area where a grape is grown de­fines its fla­vor.

Kare-kare with Ar­naldo Caprai Collepi­ano

“Ba­goong is a palate killer,” re­marks Ste­fanutti. With karekare’s “stri­dent and con­trast­ing in­gre­di­ents,” he pairs the dish with this rather strong wine from the Um­bria re­gion, which cleans away the mighty fla­vor of ba­goong from the palate.

Crispy Pata with Pru­motto Dol­ceto D’Alba

This light-bod­ied red wine from Costo Torino cleans the grease left by the fried pork. This wine is made with Neb­bi­olo grapes, named af­ter neb­bia, which means “fog” in Ital­ian. Sweet at first, the fla­vor grows more in­tensely with each sip.

Pork Adobo with Lionello March­esi Rosso

The Lionello March­esi Rosso Di Mon­tal­cino from Tus­cany gives off the same pep­pery smell and fla­vor that are also present in adobo.

Leche Flan with Val­tu­rio Ab­stemio

The Moscato wine from the Marche re­gion balances the sweet­ness of the dessert. Its smell and taste have notes of fruit and honey.

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