Wine: Tintara Shiraz (Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale)
Food: Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Beurre Blanc
I think we all had a few questions when George Tice from Toulouse sent over his pairing for "Riding Dirty" The Dirty South Wine Atlanta Wine Pairing Challenge. Shiraz, the big, fruity, Syrah from Australia is normally found next to heavy red meats- lamb, beef, and feral duckbill platypus, but salmon???? Knowing George and his passion for wine, I realized that even though uncommon, this dish would work.
Instead of choosing a small plate for his entry, George submitted a half-entree. A generous portion of grilled Atlantic salmon, pickled cabbage, jasmine rice, and green onion, and a thick, reduced, balsamic beurre blanc.
This came across as almost a mini-meal.
The salmon was cooked perfectly- medium rare, but still with a crisp crust, and just enough char from the grill. The Tintara, was a straightforward Aussie Shiraz, but not overblown and stewy.
Together, they became a caramel-like dose of goodness. The Tintara and the balsamic really matched up well, and in a way, rounded each others edges and gave you caramelized pure fruit, that really created a minutes long finish of flavor.
Balsamic, Salmon, and pickled cabbage are such strong flavors, that anything less potent than Shiraz would get lost in the dish.
For $19.95, this made me really happy, it wasn't just good pairing, it was killer comfort food.
If you aren't familiar with George Tice, or Toulouse, the YouTube video below provides some of George's insights into the restaurant, cooking, and selecting wines.
If you have never been to Toulouse, the Steve Penley art in the dining room is worth a trip alone