Mas­ter Som­me­lier Vir­ginia Philip

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Fall­ing leaves, chills in the air, logs on the fire­place and heartier fare—all of it calls for wines that work along­side our nat­u­ral grav­i­ta­tion to­ward veg­eta­bles, meats and pas­tas at this time of year. And this chef’s menu is per­fect for the sea­son.

The first course of a ve­gan homemade cheese plat­ter with pick­led pear, blue­berry and lime coulis will pair nicely with Domaine Hel­frich’s Stein­klotz ries­ling, Al­sace Grand Cru, Al­sace, France, 2008. The tang of the pick­led pear, and the sweet and sour com­po­nent of the coulis, should work beau­ti­fully with this wine, whose min­er­al­ity and bright acid­ity bring out the clean fla­vors of the pear and lime. This ries­ling is just rich enough to com­ple­ment the ve­gan cheese, and its slightly off-dry fla­vor meshes with the other com­po­nents of the dish.

The se­cond course is spaghetti al frutti di mare (spaghetti with seafood). It should be a hit with an ex­cep­tional rosé from the Mediter­ranean. Domaine Ott’s Chateau Ro­mas­son, Ban­dol, France, 2016, is a fa­vorite of the yacht­ing crowd in Provence, An­tibes and Saint-Tropéz. This rosé’s ripe and lean fi­nesse com­ple­ments the full­bod­ied tex­ture of gre­nache, the soft­ness of cin­sault and, for its small con­tri­bu­tion, the fruity round­ness of syrah. The wine’s pale, pink color (tinted with gold or or­ange) adds am­bi­ence to its bou­quet of cit­rus fruits and white flow­ers. On the palate, the im­me­di­ate ef­fect is lively and bright, re­veal­ing notes of pink grape­fruit and red fruits. Once the wine has had a chance to breathe, the fin­ish is com­plex and last­ing.

The main course of braised short ribs with saffron risotto, roasted pump­kin with gin­ger, and demi-glace re­quires a hearty red wine. Craggy Range’s Le Sol syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 2012, is the per­fect part­ner. This syrah is clas­sic with deep and dark-pur­ple hues, and aro­mas of sweet black­berry, plus sub­tle hints of bark, co­coa pow­der and freshly cracked black pep­per. On the palate, an ele­gant core of black cur­rants, dark cher­ries and black­ber­ries lay­ers with dusty, dry tan­nins and re­fresh­ing acid­ity. Each sip will hold up to the hearti­ness of the dish.

The dessert is a com­pressed pineap­ple carpac­cio with homemade co­conut ice cream and cilantro syrup. This re­fresh­ing end­ing will pair

well with Jorge Or­doñez & Co.’s Selec­ción Es­pe­cial Mus­ca­tel, Malaga, Spain, 2012. This late-har­vest Mus­ca­tel is a rich wine with fresh notes of or­ange, honey, flower blos­soms and ex­otic spices. The acid­ity will cut through the ice cream and marry nicely with the cilantro syrup.

Vir­ginia Philip is one of only just over 200 pro­fes­sion­als world­wide to hold the ti­tle of Mas­ter Som­me­lier. Her dis­cern­ing palate and en­cy­clo­pe­dic knowl­edge also earned her the Amer­i­can Som­me­lier As­so­ci­a­tion’s ti­tle of “Best Som­me­lier of the United States.” At The Break­ers Palm Beach, Philip over­sees the bev­er­age se­lec­tion of the re­sort’s nine restau­rants and bars and 14 wine lists. She owns Vir­ginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy in West Palm Beach. vir­giniaphilip­wineshopacademy.com

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