Sommelier, Le Pigeon
2006 Pinot Noir
The menu pairing for this wine highlights both the primary (fruit) and secondary (earth, spice) flavors of this wine. The main course is a dish of bone-marrow gnocchi with snails and garlic from Le Pigeon chef Gabriel Rucker.
Frisée and radicchio salad with spice-roasted mushrooms and currants
The heartier lettuces of this salad carry the big flavors of wild mushrooms roasted with a slightly spicy treatment of black pepper, nutmeg, clove and coriander, and dried currants. The spices, currants, and mushrooms all echo notes in the wine.
This dish balances deep flavors with an elegant touch, as does the wine. The fruit in the wine will balance the pungent garlic and salt notes in the dish, and the snails will bring out the minerality hiding behind the wine’s fruit.
Semi-firm and firm cow’s milk cheese from eastern France served with membrillo (quince paste) and bread
End this meal with some nice cheeses. To pair with the wine, look to some of the semi-firm and firm cow’s milk cheeses of eastern France—cheeses that have a rich, fruity quality. You don’t want anything to be too acidic or tart.
This vibrant and complex wine, made by two of the sweetest people in the Oregon wine world, is ideal for a late summer/early fall evening when the weather is still warm. These dishes are meant to echo the wine’s balance of sweetness and acidity. The dessert for this dish is by Nate Flansburgh, Le Pigeon’s pastry chef.
Grilled shrimp with corn and chanterelles
If you’ve never had corn and riesling together, you must try it. A good riesling brings out the most amazing earthy notes in corn. This dish of grilled shrimp served over a warm mound of corn dressed with butter, lemon, sautéed chanterelles, and a squeeze of lemon will highlight how complex and versatile riesling, even an inexpensive one, can be.
Roasted chicken with roasted cherry-tomato relish
Few things are as satisfying as a great roasted chicken, and few things are as versatile as chicken when it comes to wine. What you serve with it makes all the difference. In a very hot oven or broiler, cook the orange cherry tomatoes until they pop and blister. Chop them and mix with roasted garlic, fresh herbs, and good olive oil and use as a condiment for the chicken.
Serve the delicately herbaceous panna cotta with fruit that has been lightly macerated or stewed with just a little bit of sugar and citrus. With desserts, you usually want a pretty darn sweet wine or the wine may taste austere against the dessert. If you are going to continue with one wine through dinner into dessert, make sure your dessert is not overly sweet and has some nice bright notes—like this one.