Tag Archives: Terre del Fohn

wine and food pairings

Wine and food pairings 7: Classic roast chicken

roast chickenThe Wine Curmudgeon pairs wine with some of his favorite recipes in this occasional feature. This edition: three wines with perhaps the most classic of all dishes, roast chicken.

When I taught wine to culinary students, they always asked what my favorite dinner was — no doubt expecting some over-complicated, over-sauced French haute cuisine adventure to pair with $300 wine. My answer always surprised them: Roast chicken served with a simple pan sauce, green noodles, a green salad with a mustardy vinaigrette, and crusty French bread.

Because when it’s a top quality chicken and the skin is brown and crisp, what else do you need but terrific cheap wine?

The catch, of course, is finding an affordable quality chicken. Most supermarket chickens don’t have any flavor to begin with, and they’ve often been frozen and defrosted and frozen again as they go through the supply chain. Hence, the meat gets almost crumbly after it’s cooked. Find a chicken that has avoided that, usually at a specialty grocer, and you’ll be stunned at the difference.

The other key: Finding the best roasting method. I’ve tried almost all of them, including smothering the skin with gobs of butter, roasting in a rack, and stuffing the cavity with lemons and herbs. But nothing seems to work as well as Jacques Pepin’s Chicken Roti. It’s simple and direct and delicious. You brown the chicken on each side in a hot oven, and then finish the bird on its back, basting with the pan juices occasionally. Yes, it can cause an undue amount of smoke in the kitchen, and flipping the chicken during roasting takes some getting used to. But it’s well worth the effort

Click here to download or print a PDF of the recipe. These three wines will do justice to the chicken — and not a chardonnay in sight:

Zestos Old Vine Rosado 2018 ($10, purchased, 12%): This Spanish pink is one of the world’s great cheap roses — bright and fresh and almost minerally, but with more fruit than a Provencal rose (strawberry?). Highly recommended. Imported by Ole & Obrigado

Terre del Fohn Muller-Thurgau 2017 ($14, purchased, 12.5%): A beautiful white Italian wine that is made from muller-thurgau, an uncommon grape. It’s almost spicy, a little oily, and offers some light lime fruit. Highly recommended. Imported by Tricana.

La Cornada Crianza 2015 ($5, purchased, 13%): I bought this Spanish temprnaillo at Aldi in February, and it was enjoyable. I’ve since bought a half-dozen more, and it keeps improving with age — more Spanish in style, less oaky, and cherry fruit that stays in the background. There’s even a little earth.

More about wine and food pairings:
Wine and food pairings 6: Louisiana-style shrimp boil
• Wine and food pairings 5: America’s Test Kitchen pizza
• Wine and food pairings 4: Oven-friend chicken and gravy

Wine of the week: Terre del Fohn Marzemino 2015

terre del fohnThe Terre del Fohn Marzemino is a unique and intriguing Italian red wine, sold at a fair price

Know two things about this Italian red wine – first, that it isn’t as available as I would like. Second, that I had a witness when I bought it, so everyone who comments and emails about availability can rest easy. You can find it.

The Terre del Föhn Marzemino ($12, purchased, 12%) is the kind of wine that appeals to those of us who like varietal character and terroir, as well as those who think the first group is much too geeky. I bought it to drink with a colleague from my political column writing days who likes to drink wine but not worry about what he’s drinking. His reaction? “I have to work this afternoon. But I want to finish the bottle.”

The Terre del Fohn is made with the little known marzemino grape, native to the Trentino region and mentioned in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Other than that, there’s no reason for anyone to be aware of it – and which explains its less than ideal availability in our cabernet sauvignon-driven world.

The Terre de Fohn is an intriguing wine, with an almost violet aroma, lots of berry fruit, and a soft, sort of New World finish that’s almost bereft of tannins and has less acidity than I expected. In other words, the ideal wine for visiting with an old pal over muffalettas.

Imported by Tricana Imports