Archive | December 2016

Bacon, Cheese, and Côte Rôtie.

Lately, I have been obsessed with shrimp and grits! I’ve been experimenting with a lot of recipes as well as trying different wine pairings. While the shrimp in this dish may make you reach for a bottle of white wine, other ingredients actually call for a red. For instance, the smoky bacon in the shrimp and the hard cheeses in the grits are ideal food matches for a syrah. Rhône valley is the land of syrah in France and one of the most elegant wines from there is Côte Rôtie. Côte Rôtie is a mix of fruity (red and black berries) and smoky aromas like bacon. It is typically blended with a touch of viognier, which adds an exotic kick.

Côte Rôtie can get quite pricey but at 40 , Cuvée du Plessy by Domaine Gilles Barge is a bargain! This is such a lovely wine with the characteristic the meaty and smoky aromas juxtaposed with dark fruits. It is quite smooth in the mouth. I really like this wine and will go back and get a few more to add to my collection.

Cuvee du Plessy

Cuvee du Plessy

Now for the shrimp and grits… Abu Dhabi has some amazing seafood, including these jumbo wild shrimp. I always buy it in the shell and do the cleaning myself because I like to save the shells for shrimp stock.

Jumbo shrimp

Jumbo shrimp

The shrimp and grits recipe that I’m using not only has bits of bacon but also sautées everything in bacon fat – perfect with the Côte Rotie. In the grits, I used three types of cheese. Cheddar, which is classic in Southern grits; gruyère, which is a fantastic pairing with Côte Rôtie, and smoked halloumi; my Middle Eastern twist, which adds another layer of smokiness to this dish.

Shrimp and grits

My goodness… What a lovely pairing with Côte Rôtie! The bacon and cheese really make the wine shine.

After the success of shrimp and grits, I started thinking about how well mac & cheese would work with Côte Rôtie. So the next day, I tried the Cuvée du Plessy with Ina Garten’s grown up mac & cheese recipe (my favorite!), which calls for gruyère and bacon.

bacon mac and cheese

bacon mac and cheese

This was another killer pairing with Cuvée du Plessy! I highly recommend it!