By Tom Thornton | October 14, 2015 | Food & Drink
Decadent meals deserve world-class wine. Five of Austin's smartest pros share their favorite pairings for late fall.
Stylish dining from the team behind 24 Diner and Arro.
Our expert: Craig Collins, Master Sommelier
The dish: “Italic works with area ranchers for our whole-animal program. We butcher in-house for limited-quantity preparations with local produce. One of our favorites is Windy Hill Farm’s Dorper lamb tartare with house-cured anchovies, olive oil, arugula, and parmigiano .”
Wine pairing: “The strawberry and cherry of the Nerello Mascalese 2013 Terre Nere Etna Rosso complements the soft lamb characteristic of the tartare, and bright acidity balances the beautiful salinity lent by our anchovies. The wine’s subtle green note enhances the arugula, and the tannins cleanse the palate.” 123 W. Sixth St., 512-660- 5390
Provence-inspired high-end cuisine paired with one of Austin’s biggest wine selections.
Our expert: Vilma Mazaite, Advanced Sommelier
The dish: “The Stilton blue cheese ice cream with port figs and candied pecans is a menu favorite. Chef Janina [O’Leary]’s desserts are balanced and not too sweet, which allow room for a wine pairing. Her blue cheese ice cream is silky, rich, and creamy, so I recommend drinking a dessert wine that can contrast the richness with a tangy and vibrant texture.”
Wine pairing: “Royal Tokaji has beautiful dried fruit aromas, which complement blue cheese very well. This wine is my absolute favorite on its own, but paired with the right dessert it becomes magical.” 1501 E. Seventh St., 512-391-1888
A small room and laser-focused menu highlight Neapolitan pizza from a Stefano Ferrara oven.
Our expert: Steven Dilley, owner
The dish: “When the weather cools, I turn to our taleggio pie with scallions and sausage. It is relatively rich and slightly funky.”
Wine pairing: “I prefer a high-acid wine to keep things in check. In this case, I’d reach for a white, even in November. The 2013 Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg Sec is a personal favorite: It comes from the site of their richest wines, and even in difficult vintages, the wines are brilliant. They are mineral, slightly honeyed, perfumed with a slight peachiness, and have laser-like acidity. They are truly mouthwatering.” 1519 E. Cesar Chavez St., 512-524-2523
Hyde Park’s favorite hangout meshes thoughtful wine with quality bistro fare.
Our expert: Kelly Voelkel, wine director
The dish: “Our Sunday night paella is one of my favorites. There’s smokiness and a richness of flavor.”
Wine pairing: “Spicy Rioja with dark fruit flavors like La Cuna de la Poesia (100 percent Tempranillo) pairs perfectly with the smoky element of the dish. If a diner wants a lighter pairing, the medium-bodied and mineral-driven D. Ventura Pena do Lobo Mencía complements the dish’s profile well.” 4119 Guadalupe St., 512-465- 9282
Four Seasons’ elegance and notable service elevate this steak and seafood staple.
Our expert: Michael Mooney, manager
The dish: “The bone-in ribeye is a favorite cut of ours. While it is marbled, it is slightly leaner than a regular ribeye cut. Keeping it on the bone adds great flavor, as does our garnish of housemade beef bacon. For this pairing, I’d suggest a side of crispy Brussels sprouts.”
Wine pairing: “While many diners pair steak with California Cabernet, we like suggesting the 2012 Finca Villacreces Pruno, Ribera del Duero from our by-the-glass program. The Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon blend is full-bodied, velvety, and opulent to complement the steak, and has a hint of earthiness to pair well with the Brussels.” 98 San Jacinto Blvd., 512-685-8300