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Wine with Jambalaya?

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Bill Buitenhuys

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Wine with Jambalaya?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:36 pm

So I just made up a big pot of jambalaya with a chicken, andouille, and kidney bean base and pretty hefty spiciness of thyme, cilantro, basil, jalapeno, paprika, garlic, shallot, red pepper, onion, celery, carrot in a red (tomato paste/chicken stock) sauce, all over rice.

Any ideas on what wine might pair with this? I'm stuck.
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Bob Henrick » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:15 pm

Bill, I think I might skip the wine with this dish and open a really big, and really cold lager! If I had to go with a wine though I suppose it would be Riesling, especially a German Riesling, or a gewertz with some residual sugar. I would probably not go with a red because I doubt that the tannins would not match well. Come to think of it though a cru bo-jo might pair well.
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Gary Barlettano

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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Gary Barlettano » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:29 pm

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:So I just made up a big pot of jambalaya with a chicken, andouille, and kidney bean base and pretty hefty spiciness of thyme, cilantro, basil, jalapeno, paprika, garlic, shallot, red pepper, onion, celery, carrot in a red (tomato paste/chicken stock) sauce, all over rice.

Any ideas on what wine might pair with this? I'm stuck.


You can't really trust what I say because if I like a wine I generally am able to pair it with anything. That being said ...

I agree with Bob wholeheartedly (also about the beer), but I might add that something spritzy, pinkish or rosé-ish with a touch of R.S. might go well with this ... even that '05 Napa Gamay from V. Sattui I reviewed this week. To be honest, I eat a lot of hot stuff and the red chile flake is usually the emptiest condiment jar in the rack. (I mean I pour the brine from the pickled jalapeños into my tuna salad. It's sad and I have hardly any stomach lining left.)

Anyway, as a rule of thumb, I find wines that I would enjoy on a sweltering hot summer's night pair well with the spicy food like this, e.g. Bob's Riesling, vinho verde, a fizzy rosé, cheap Lambrusco, Prosecco etc.
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Otto » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:37 pm

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:So I just made up a big pot of jambalaya with a chicken, andouille, and kidney bean base and pretty hefty spiciness of thyme, cilantro, basil, jalapeno, paprika, garlic, shallot, red pepper, onion, celery, carrot in a red (tomato paste/chicken stock) sauce, all over rice.

Any ideas on what wine might pair with this? I'm stuck.


Sparkling mineral water? Before I got a nasty amoeba which limited my intake of spicy food, I used to eat food that was "tough" for wines nearly every day. It depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to emphasise the heat, go for a young(ish) Nebbiolo based wine. The fruit in them will work with the heat, and the tannins will emphasise it - this is my perfect pairing for curry! :)

The sad truth is that alcohol emphasises heat, so with sort of food any alcohol (beers included) will just make it seem stronger. If you want a good pairing, I suggest making fresh juice. Get 100% unsweetened juice.

If you are adamant and want wine, remember these tips: low alcohol, low tannins, sweetness (but whether from residual sugar or ripe fruit is immaterial), moderate to high acidity (causes salivation, which lessens burn), perhaps a touch of carbonation (not full blown Champagne-style, but more pétillant). These guidelines made some of the least unsuccesful pairings for me! :) Wine and and even only moderate spiciness just doesn't work IMO.

Ironically Fino sherry seems to go with anything, though it disobeys these "rules" of mine.

-O-
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Bob Ross » Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:07 pm

Bill, I'd go with beer. Otherwise Prosecco.

Sounds like a delicious Jambalaya all on its own -- just water would do for me.

Strat's Place had an interesting discussion on this match awhile back -- maybe something here will inspire you:

Amanda .. We found a perfect inexpensive wine for jambalaya quite by accident. Try Turning Leaf's Red Zinfandel, there's no bitter aftertaste, and it's not so strong as to overpower the meal!

Jason .. We've had good luck with Aussie Shiraz. Try Rosemount Diamond Label or Leasingham Clare Valley. Definitely go for something brash with a lot of fruit. The earthier ones just die with jambalaya.

Jack .. Just had a 1996 Rabbit Ridge Sangiovese with it the other day and the combo worked nicely.

Dan .. BIG, spicy Red Zin....or an equally big Shiraz.

alt.food.wine ... Wine with Jambalaya? Easy = ZINFANDEL, Big, unabashed, spicy just like the Jambalaya.

alt.food.wine ... Beside various Sangiovese, I like it w/ a good strong Riesling. For an unusal combo, try a good mild but fraqent Japanese sake serve chill !

http://www.stratsplace.com/winefood.html

And Robin's take: MATCHING WINE: I'm not really crazy about wine with fiery fare, and if you travel in Cajun country, you'll most often find the food of the region served with ice-cold beer or sweet iced tea. If you insist on wine, I recommend slightly sweet, fruity options, from Riesling to gentler-styled Merlots, or modest bubblies like Spanish cava or the Italian Prosecco.

http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvis ... 1118.phtml
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:48 pm

You guys are great, as always. I made the jambalaya a day in advance so it can meld in the fridge overnight and now I have a multitude of options here. I was leaning towards something with some residual sugar as Bob H suggests and we are always game to open a German riesling in this house. But Otto's young nebbiolo sounds really intriguing as does the Zin from Ser Ross's suggestion. I might open a few things (adding the vinho verde that Gary mentioned) and I'll report back Saturday night.
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Agostino Berti » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:28 am

Personally, I would go with a big, alcoholic Slovenian Merlot from the 2003 vintage or a frothy Freisa from Gianni Voerzio.

Maybe even an oaky Spanish bruiser from Calatayud or Carinena.

How about a Bandol?

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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Covert » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:54 am

Gigondas.
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:02 am

Prosecco and then cool down in the tub with the rubber duckies!!
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Agostino Berti » Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:35 pm

As much as I love Prosecco, how is a white going to stand up to all that flavor?

At least go for a Bardolino or a Valpolicella.
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Gary Barlettano » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:20 pm

Agostino Berti wrote:As much as I love Prosecco, how is a white going to stand up to all that flavor? At least go for a Bardolino or a Valpolicella.


That's not the point, Agostino! With all the at spice we're sure our friend is going to get agita so we're offering him a substitute for Brioschi!! :roll:
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:12 pm

so we're offering him a substitute for Brioschi!! I grew up on brioschi too! love to put that stuff on my tongue. :lol:

So I followed some sage advice and we went with sweet tea. Worked perfectly!
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Re: Wine with Jambalaya?

by Mark Lipton » Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:40 am

Bob Ross wrote:alt.food.wine ... Wine with Jambalaya? Easy = ZINFANDEL, Big, unabashed, spicy just like the Jambalaya.

alt.food.wine ... Beside various Sangiovese, I like it w/ a good strong Riesling. For an unusal combo, try a good mild but fraqent Japanese sake serve chill !



Art's alt.food.wine quotes are from bygone days. Two of alt.food.wine's most prolific posters (Dale W and myself) have had this to say on the subject in recent years:

Dale - White Chateauneuf-du-Pape
me - off-dry Loire Chenin Blanc

I'd take either of those choices over a Zin, but the Riesling choice is fine with me, too. And Champagne is hard to go wrong with.

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