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 Filed as : Wine Events

A Match Made In Heaven

May 14, 2012
A Match Made In Heaven
Beef, pork and lamb--winning partners for cabernet sauvignon

cabernetcookoff.Big, bold cabernet sauvignons – you know the over extracted, over-oaked, high alcohol kind — have given the red grape something of a bad rap for overpowering most foods. But at the recent Hall Cabernet Cookoff, local chefs showed how well a balanced Napa cab can partner with a range of meaty dishes, while raising money for Napa Valley non-profit agencies.

Of course, when you’re starting with a silky, young wine that tastes of blackberry and chocolate like the Hall Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Napa Valley), pairings are a lot easier. Lamb was a popular choice for dishes, so were beef short ribs, mushrooms, pork and even chocolate cupcakes which brought out berry notes in the Hall cabernet. Too many chilies proved to be the downfall for a couple of creative dishes; adding a wine with a good amount of tannin and alcohol to a mouthful of pepper is like pouring kerosene on a fire.

Professional judges gave the top prize to Chef Jordan Mackey of Restaurant Cuvée in Napa for his braised kobe beef belly with grits, wilted ramps and a fresh prune. The Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ in Napa took the first place People’s Choice award for Chef Will Wright’s pork ribs slathered in a sauce of 2009 Hall cab and chipotle peppers.

Besides bragging rights, the winning chefs scored cash prizes for their respective partner charities: Connolly Ranch, which connects kids with nature through farm-based education programs, and the Napa Humane Society.

What’s your favorite food to pair with a young Napa Valley cab? Tell us below.


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