Saturday, May 22, 2010

Viognier with Mustard, Herb & Cheese Crusted Pork

I saw this recipe for Mustard, Herb & Cheese Crusted Pork in today's Foodbuzz Top 9. It comes from the Joelen at the What's Cooking Chicago? blog.

For several years I have made a Viognier, but only one year (the first) was very good in my opinion. Since then whenever I can find a Viognier I haven't had I will grab it and give it a whirl. I love the powerful nose of flowers and the fact that it often has a full body and is lush with a long finish. It is a very food friendly wine. And since I LOVE wine and food it is a hit for me.

I had a 2007 Viognier yesterday from Coyote Canyon Winery. The nose was very floral and enticing. With just a hint of residual sweetness the wine oozed with apricot and had nice full body. I checked the winemaking notes at the web site and found that they uses sur-lee aging on this wine to increase the body and mouthfeel, definition a good choice.

For those not familiar with this technique a quick explanation will be useful. When wines have ceased fermentation and begin to settle the sediment creates an obvious (in a glass vessel is where it is most obvious) layer at the bottom of the container. These are the lees. Around the world there are many strategies for using the lees or not, and for how long. Sur-lee aging is the process of retaining the lees and periodically mixing the wine to re-distribute the lees and the wonderful flavor and aroma compounds present in them. This can be tricky because other stuff can be hiding there, so you have to know your fermentation to make this choice successfully. When this does happen properly the wine is enhanced with aromas and flavors that make it even more pleasurable to drink.

I make this wine and food pairing recommendation based on the wine's ability to balance the bite from the mustard and for it's body to hold up to the cheese and crust on the pork. The pairing will the pork will, aside from the seasoning, will also be quite nice, something my wife and I have tried several times.



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