Wine Pairing with Lion & Dove Wines

Chocolate Cabernet Mandelbread
December 24, 2019

I am thrilled to introduce you to Lion and Dove’s line of delicious kosher wines. The wines are mostly Chilean and can be found in stores in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, but Paul’s Wines in D.C. will ship to you.

Lion & Dove wines  is sourcing wines from all over the world. For now the line is being produced  in Chile’s Central Valley, while the Moscato is from the Puglia region of Italy.  The company will soon offer a rosé from Italy and a Malbec from Argentina.

Lion & Dove wines are kosher for Passover and flash-processed mevushal. They are also certified vegan and gluten-free.

Sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon blanc is a lighter white wine typically with fruity or herb undertones. The name actually means “wild white,” because the grape grew like a weed in France. The grape originated in the Bordeaux region of France and was brought to the Loire Valley, where it was planted in the town of Sancerre, which is what the French version of sauvignon blanc is called today. Sauvignon blanc is typically dry and is served young as it doesn’t benefit from aging.

Lion & Dove’s sauvignon blanc is crisp and smooth and has underlying pear, grapefruit and yuzu flavors, without an oaked taste. This white won the Silver Award from the World Value Wine Challenge in 2019 and was deemed “highly recommended.”

This wine is best paired with cheese, lighter and smoked fishes, pastas with cream sauces. People also enjoy sauvignon blanc wines with Greek and Mexican food, and one of my favorite dishes, chicken schnitzel.

I would serve this with my baked Fish tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice from The Healthy Jewish Kitchen Cookbook.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines in the world. Chardonnay grapes are also used in champagne. The grape is a blank canvas for winemakers to vary in different ways: new versus older oak barrels, stainless steel barrels rather than oak, and it tastes differently depending on the climate in which the grape is grown and the ripeness when picked.

Chardonnay is a richer white wine and Lion & Dove’s fresh version tastes of green apple and peach. This wine received the Silver Award from the World Value Wine Challenge in 2019.

Chardonnay goes well with salads, creamy vegetable soups, salmon, raw or cooked tuna, saucy chicken dishes, risotto. The smoothness of the chardonnay mirrors the creaminess of cream sauces in dishes. Friends and wine collectors Trudy and Howard Jacobson like to drink chardonnay with chicken dishes that have fruit in them.

I would pair Lion & Dove’s chardonnay with my Seared Tuna with Olives and Capers from The New Passover Menu cookbook (Sterling 2015).

Pinot noir

Pinot noir is one of the oldest grapes in the world, around since Roman times. It is revered because it is a harder grape to grow. It originally came from the Burgundy region of France, though there the wine is called “Burgundy.” Pinot noirs from outside of France, from places such as Chile, where Lion & Dove is made, tend to be fruitier. As they age, pinot noir wines develop an earthier flavor. Pinot noirs typically have a little smoky taste with hints of cranberries and cherries.

Lion & Dove’s pinot noir is described as having the aroma and taste of red fruit with hints of white pepper. It received the Silver Award from the World Value Wine Challenge in 2019.

Pinot noir goes well with roasted chicken, turkey, stews and even grilled tuna. My brother-in-law Steve Shoyer likes pinot with pizza. Serve with my Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde from The New Passover Menu (Sterling 2015)

Carménère

Carménère wine is new to me. It is originally from Bordeaux, France, but an infestation nearly wiped the grapes out. Growers there shifted to cabernet and merlot grapes, which were easier to grow. The vines were brought to Chile in the mid 1800’s and there they thrived. In Chile, however, growers thought it was Merlot until in 1994 when a French expert came to Chile and discovered that 50% of the merlot in Chile was actually the once-thought extinct Carménère  of Bordeaux. In 1998, Chile made Carménère  an official designation. Initially Carménère  was a blended wine and now is its own varietal. Carménère  wines are characterized by light tannins yet high acid.

Carménère  wines typically have flavors of berries and spice. Lion & Dove’s Carménère  has a dark ruby color and aromas of strawberry preserved, roasted root vegetables, smoked cherries and sun-dried tomatoes. It is a medium body wine that is crisp and has a dark chocolate and raisin finish. It received the Silver Award from the World Value Wine Challenge in 2019 and was considered a “best buy.” The Washington Post reviewed this wine, stating: “A hint of smoke and tobacco leaf give interest to the black fruit flavors of this wine. It is simple and pleasant, the type of wine that will complement but not intrude upon your dinner.”

Carménère  is considered a very versatile red. It is best paired with grilled or smoked meats, dishes with green salsa or pesto, dark meat chicken and turkey and duck. Friends have enjoyed it with cholent as well. I would serve this wine with my Chicken Arrabiata.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Lion and Dove’s Cabernet has a dark burnt sienna color. It has earthy aromas and flavors of orange, grilled peppers, dried figs and dates with notes of toast.

Cabernet is classically paired with steak because the fat in the steak mellows the tannins in the wine and the strong steak flavor matches the bold flavor of the wine. People I know who love Cabernet wines will drink it with anything and claim that it also works well with poultry and vegetarian food. Cabernet is great with grilled meats and brisket. Serve with Moroccan Spiced Short Ribs from The New Passover Menu (Sterling 2015)

Moscato

Moscato wine can be traced back to antiquity, specifically to ancient Egyptians and Persian.s  Moscato wines come from different varietals so they come in different hues and have different levels of sweetness. Some moscatos are very bubbly and others are still. Moscato has become very popular in the past few years due to its mention in hip-hop songs. Moscato is best served very cold.

It is the only currently available Lion & Dove wine that hails from Italy, from Puglia.

Lion & Dove’s moscato has hints of sage, and stone and exotic fruits. I found it less sweet with more depth of flavor than other moscato wines I have tried. It is more fizzy than bubbly, which I personally enjoyed as someone who doesn’t like carbonation. It is tasty on its own, but would also make a nice ingredient for a cocktail.

Although I view moscato as solely a dessert wine, people also pair it with poultry, Asian food, spicy Indian food, fish such as halibut and cod, soft and smelly as well as hard cheeses and even kosher deli. For dessert it is best with pies and tarts and anything baked with vanilla. I would serve this wine with my Honey Cake Biscotti from The Holiday Kosher Baker (Sterling 2013)

A Few General tips for wine pairing:

  1. You can drink any wine with whatever you want to eat, but the experts believe that certain wines complement certain foods better and bring out more flavor in both the wine and the food.
  2. According to Wine Enthusiast magazine, “Pairing is all about matching the main components of a dish and the main components of the wine. That does not always mean complementing. Sometimes, a contrasting style is ideal.”
  3. Neither the wine nor the food should overwhelm each other. Typically a light dish is best served with a lighter wine and a hearty meal demands a hearty wine. And you are not always matching the main element of the dish with the wine; sometimes it is a sauce, spice, minor ingredient or how the dish is prepared that is more dominant.
  4. If a savory dish is rather sweet, it might make a dry wine taste sour, so you are better paring it with a wine that has more sweetness.
  5. Spicy foods also match better with sweeter wines and fatty and salty foods make hearty wines smoother by reducing the taste of the tannins in the wine.