It is tough to say anything about this crew that people don't already know. They are known for their amazing staff / ownership, vibe, killer food, the ATL's best cocktails, burger, Atlanta Magazine's Restaurant of the Year, etc... But how many of you know them for wine?
When a place is this good, it does everything well. So it was no shock that Greg Best would put together an amazing wine pairing. Just none of us knew in advance what it would be. To say we were not disappointed is an understatement... This was insane.
Riding Dirty Pairing
Wine: Lustau East India Sherry
FIRST- SHERRY, SHERRY, SHERRY, SHERRY! Finally, someone goes for Sherry! Though I am not an expert on Sherry, in our trend of small plates, tapas, and snacks, few wines are as versatile as Sherry, and few work as well with big flavors- olives, nuts, vinegars, etc... When Greg brought out the wine, I said to myself- "This guy gets it!" , When Chef Adam brought out the pork belly-- thick cut, looking almost looking like hamachi sashimi, I said "We're totally screwed." I think I walked back in to chez Dirty after 2 AM that night... It was that good.
The video describes the pairing more than my feeble fingers. But for those more apt to read- This Sherry is thick, nutty, fairly sweet, complex and though not as over the top as a full blown Pedro Ximenez, it is something that few sane people would reach for without a wedge of blue-veined cheese. Then the pork belly- cooked perfectly. A little crisp on the edge, tender and flavorful, but still tasting like pig. This dish is something else. The Sherry adds a caramel-like flavor and almost transforms this dish into something like bacon in your mouth (and who wouldn't like that?)- The acid from the chow chow, and the bitterness from the greens matched perfectly. This is an unexpected pairing, that just rocks.
Huge props and thanks to Greg, Andy, Regan, and Chef Adam. Forget the Hawks, Braves, Falcons, or Thrashers, H+F is the best team in town.
(photos courtesy of Broderick- master of bokeh!)
As a side note- While waiting for our tasting, we met up with some folks from Quality Wine, and wine importer Jon David Headrick. JD's wine selections from the Loire have been some of my favorite wines this year- pure, natural, often organic and or biodynamic. His wines show that there is a world beyond heavy, over-extracted fruit. (also his Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Rouge was poured for Repast's Riding Dirty Entry).
Along with a killer portfolio of wines- he's got quite a sense of humour too...