Wine with Food: The Perfect Pairing

When it comes to the decision of which wine with which food, there’s considerably more involved than the old standard of “white with fish and red with beef.”

First, let’s begin with approach…some prefer to decide on the food and then match the food with the wine. While others, who are excited about the virtues of a wine, choose to match the wine with food.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t need to be intimidating or overly complicated. With our extensive wine list representing regions all over the world, the pairings are virtually endless. So go ahead, we urge you to experiment. You won’t be disappointed.

Some suggestions to get you started on pairing food and wine.

Think about the dish. What are its dominant characteristics?

Is it mild or flavorful? Fatty or lean? Rich or acidic?

Keep flavors in balance.

Match mild foods with mild wines. Match big, flavorful foods with big, flavorful wines.

Cleanse the palate with tannins or acids.

If you’re eating a relatively rich, ‘fatty’ dish and thinking about drinking a red wine you probably want a wine with some good tannins in it to help cleanse the palate.

If you’re eating a very rich, ‘fatty’ dish and thinking about drinking a white wine you probably want to contrast the meal with a refreshingly crisp acidic wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc.

Match Acids with Acids

If you’re eating a dish with a strong acidic content (such as Shrimp with Lemon or Pasta with Tomato Sauce) pair it with an acidic wine that can keep up with the acids in the food.

Acidic Wines and Cream Don’t Mix

Rich cream sauces will usually clash with an acidic wine like a Sauvignon Blanc. Lemon juice and milk together, not so much.

When In Doubt..

Remember that foods generally go best with the wines they grew up with.

So if you’re eating Italian food, think about having an Italian wine.

This isn’t a requirement, but often helps simplify the decision.

Finally, and most importantly, drink what you like.

What you like to drink always takes precedence over any recommendation.

Coconut Cake

Cream & Butter… There are no substitutes.

When you want that real homemade flavor, from-scratch taste in cakes, pies, truffles and cookies, taste is essential and substitutes are out of the question. That’s why we use real butter and real cream.

At first, let’s go through a little primer on cream and butter. Double, Crème fraîche, table, half-and-half, sour cream, and clotted cream are but a few types of cream. Not to be outdone, butter is available whipped, clarified, unsalted and salted butter. All of these variations in cream and butter types have their role in culinary arts, and exist because of the difference in each type’s fat content.

While both get their start as dairy products, what happens afterwards, changes everything. Modern commercial skimming produce creams, while churning cream ends up as butter. Hence their differences in form… creams are typically more fluid-like in consistency than butter, while butter is a semi-solid type of cream. This is because it is composed of more milk fat molecules originally present in the cream.

Because of the difference in consistency, both dairy products have different culinary uses. Cream is incorporated in many soup or sauce preparations to make it richer and to add some flavor to the already flavorful food preparations. Cream carries only a mild bit of flavor that’s why it is an ideal add-on to the sweetest kinds of dishes, or topping desserts. In terms of butterfat content, cream also has a greater percentage of butterfat overall. But when talking about fat (milk fat), cream is undeniably lesser in fat than butter. Most kinds of butter have about 4/5 fat content (80 %) as opposed to the 30-35% fat content in cream (just barely half or 50% more or less).

So why do we insist on real butter and cream in our bakery and trattoria? Because there is nothing like the taste and mouthfeel of butter and cream to make foods that are already great, better.

Valentines Dessert

2/14-2/16: Valentine’s Weekend at Alpine

Please join us this weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

We’re serving some specially created chef’s specials, along with our usual menu. Enjoy beautiful Long Stemmed, Tuxedo Strawberries while listening to live music… that’s sure to include some love songs.

Chef’s Specials:
tuxedo-strawberries

Crispy Seafood Platter
Lobster, calamari, shrimp, bay scallops

Cauliflour Potato Soup

Grilled Corn and Arugula Salad
served in a crispy bacon bowl with red onions and tomatoes
tossed in a cilantro-lime viniagrette

Surf and Turf
6 oz. Filet of beef, 3 oz. Maine Lobster tail, 2 crispy jumbo shrimp
served with garlic and herb mashed potatoes and sauteed brocolli florets

2/2: Super Bowl XLVIII You Watch. We’ll Cook.

NY Blackout Cake

Order One of our Specially Prepared Catering Trays

– Or –

5 Delicious Pizzas, and we’ll throw in a free New York Black Out Cake.

Tray Choices:

  • Lasagna $100
  • Baked Ziti $85
  • Pasta Quattro Formaggi with Crispy Bacon $85

Pizza Choices:

  • Choose Any Large Pizzas on our Menu

Trays serve 20 -Catering Trays Order must be placed by February 1

The Beauty of Pasta

Besides the fun that comes with pronouncing all its names, and its ability to transform into a multitude of shapes…over 350 to date,  pasta is the perfect foundation for a nutritious, enjoyable and thoroughly satiating meal.

When mixed with heart healthy proteins like fish, fiber rich vegetables, or antioxidant laden tomato sauce, pasta acts as a “delivery system” and really packs a punch. Providing slow burning fuel for your body and nutrition for your muscles and brain, it’s a fabulous combination.

Now that you know what goes on nutritionally, we urge you not to be afraid, but to be bold and experiment.  We do, every night. Some creative combination that tastes amazing. And with over 350 types of pasta, we aren’t about to stop any time soon.

Currently…. Linguini with Clams, Baked Ziti, Crab Carbonara, Baked four Cheese ravioli, Orecchiette Pasta with Rapini and Italian Sausage.

Real Bread: Artisan Bread…Made by Artisans

Dense and Light.  Soft and Firm.  Sweet and Sour. Textured and Smooth.  Sounds like a series of contradictions doesn’t it?

Freshly baked bread in and of itself is a bit of contradiction. While possessing characteristics that are complex; the ingredients are often simple.

Artisan Bread is thought of as a high quality, hand-crafted bread containing no artificial ingredients or preservatives. It’s also the term used to describe the baker that makes it. An artist – or Artisan is a word that is used to describe a craftsperson. An artisan is a skilled worker.

There are some differences of opinion on the word artisan and should it describe bread, or the person who bakes the bread. Adjective?  Or noun?

While the parts of speech debate continues, almost everyone agrees that “artisan bread” is a distinction that means the bread is baked with thought and care, carefully selected ingredients, and choice techniques.

Everyone also seems to agree that bread, baked bakes in such a way is far superior and preferable to the stuff we buy on the grocery store shelves.