Friday, February 03, 2006
Food Quandary #3
My Favorite Wine and a Quebecois Ham
Sometimes the answer is right in front of us, but for some reason we refuse to open our eyes. This is often due to the comfort of resorting to the tried and true, which is often a barrier to going outside of the box.
The Ham in question is a smoked shoulder, pricked with cloves and cooked in a mix of beer, onion and molasses. The meat is red and smoky, rich and fleshy with an obvious touch of sweetness. This would theoretically lend itself to a ripe new world red, however, the salt factor has always proved to be the bug in the system, turning the softest tannin into iodine. And the powerful flavors have always seemed a bit overbearing.
So for round 16 with my favorite Ham preparation I went white and German. The pairing was phenomenal. This classic, rich Mosel Spatlese had enough flesh for the richness of the ham, a plush creamy texture that was in no way out of step. The molasses was in perfect harmony with the residual sweetness of the wine and the undercurrent of spice was perfect accompaniment for the clove. The saltiness of ham brought out explosions of sweet grapefruit and apricot, and the phenomenal minerality and acidity kept the ensemble fresh. Simply put, the harmony was even better than the sum of the fantastic individual parts. When will the German’s ever let me down?
Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling 2001, Spätlese, S.A. Prum ($30…saq)