This past week, some of the Winetopia team headed down to central Auckland to visit La Fuente Wine and Mezcal to answer the age-old question (and one of the most-asked questions of restaurant wait staff): What wine goes with pork?
Hailing from Mexico, Edmundo Farrera brought his Latin palate to the NZ food scene. Labelled “the first bar in the country to devote itself to Mexico’s indigenous spirit”, La Fuente’s menu brings both traditional and experimental techniques, spices, and cuisines to our little corner of the world. Edmundo was already well known on the NZ food and wine scene having presided over the wine list at bustling Auckland Central restaurant Ostro back when MasterChef Judge Josh Emett was at the helm in the kitchen. As La Fuente’s owner and sommelier, Edmundo’s expert palate ensures not only a great meal at this laneway hot spot, but also a delicious wine pairing as well.
To tackle the query which comes up time and time again, “what wine goes with pork?”, one must first ask another question, what kind of pork are we having? In this instance, Edmundo and Chef Javier Carmona decided upon frijoles charros, or charro beans, a traditional Mexican dish comprising of beans cooked with beef bone marrow and manteca, or pork fat. Those beans are then served with birria pork ribs, chorizo, charred green onions, and pickled green chili. To cool those fiery flavours, a dallop of smoked yogurt accompanies the dish.
Now our tastebuds have been sufficiently tantalized, what are we supposed to drink with frijoles charros? Edmundo has recommended a red and white, so no matter your preference we’ve got you covered. If you’re a fan of a lighter white wine, Edmundo suggests pairing the dish with a Riesling. Since charro beans is quite a spice forward dish, the texture of the Riesling will help keep the flavour profile balanced. Have a penchant for red wine? Steer in the direction of a Pinot Noir, but nothing full bodied. A Pinot Noir, especially something from Martinborough in central Otago, would pair beautifully with the dish, and enhance its juiciness.
Here at Winetopia we are all about discovery, and encourage you to mix it up. Experiment with different styles and flavours.
This is the first episode of What Goes With…, a series that gets to the bottom of wine pairing. We speak to chefs, sommeliers, restaurant owners and more, to unpack this elusive topic. Stay tuned for more!