Wine Flights and Food Pairings…what a happy thought!
Last week, I had the pleasure of trying the newly introduced wine flights at Malai Kitchen in Uptown, Dallas. For $22, you get 4 wines which adds up to about 2 glasses. I started with the white flight:
The first wine was the Selby 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County. It has aromas of grapefruit, citrus, and peach with a citrus/vanilla taste. I really enjoyed this with the warm crab dip (YUM) and, what Chef Braden called their version of “bread and butter” — rice wrapped in a banana leaf and served with an eggplant puree.
The second wine on the lineup was the 2014 Chateau Rourtas Rose from Provence – a blend of grenache, syrah, and ansault. This had a strong floral and strawberry nose with a light crisp, underripe berry taste. I also enjoyed this wine with the crab dip — the light and crisp wines paired perfectly with the warm and bigger bodied foods.
Third, was a 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape that had a lot of honey, vanilla and stone fruit on the nose. This was very food friendly but I particularly enjoyed it with the Ahi Tuna Tartar — this was the lightest dish that I had and paired with the Chateauneuf-du-Pape they are not competing with each other.
Last up was (my favorite) the 2013 Kessler “R” Riesling from Germany. It had a bit of anise and vanilla on the nose but not an overwhelming amount. This was balanced with a few citrus and grapefruit notes. Personally, I enjoyed this wine with the broth poached Octopus carpaccio — octopus in the style of carpaccio that was poached in broth. FANTASTIC. This was the spiciest dish but pairs perfectly with the riesling.
From here, I moved on to the red flight (naturally). For me, there were not as many differences in the red wines as with the whites. But, in pairing with food, this does make it simpler. You will find food friendly wines and nothing too light or too big that it will be competing with anything on the plate. For this flight, I had the Malai Favorites Sampler and would definitely recommend that to anyone!
I started off with the 2006 Chateau Compassant from Bordeaux. You could definitely smell and taste the oak on this wine! It also had black currant and chocolate aromas with a pepper and blackberry taste. I loved this one with the chicken skewers.
Second, was a 2013 Bodegas Filon Garnacha from Spain – a medium bodied red wine with a tart cherry flavor. I loved this with the tuna spring roll that was served with a peanut dipping sauce.
Next up was the 2011 Renwood Zinfandel. I got a lot of vanilla on the nose with some cinnamon and leather. This went wonderfully with (my favorite) the Vietnamese “Meatball” which are minced pork meatballs served with lettuce wraps and different herbs (mint, cilantro…etc) so you build your own wrap. The fresh herbs lighten the pork and go perfectly with the smoky zin.
Last was the 2010 Bleasdale Shiraz which had the classic dark berry fruit aromas with the jammy blackberry and smoky taste. I actually preferred this with the fried Imperial Rolls which had both shrimp and pork.
At Malai Kitchen, it’s meant to be a time to share plates and experience a lot of different dishes. In Asian cuisine, there are so many layers of flavor in each dish — this makes it fun to pair with wine! The wine list is approachable and enticing — encouraging customers to try new things that might be outside their comfort zone.
I can not believe I have not been to Malai Kitchen yet and I can’t wait to go back soon! The food is absolutely outstanding and so fun to do a flight of wine and see where the night takes you!