This sponsored article is brought to you by Salt Creek Grille – Princeton.
Salt Creek Grille – Princeton’s operations partner Hugh Preece offers up a selection of wine pairings to consider for your next meal out.
Finca de Arantei Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain 2014
Albarino is a green-skinned grape variety native to Galicia on the north Atlantic coast of Spain. Pale, straw-lemon in color, the wine displays refreshing aromas of peaches, apricot, jasmine tea and wet stone. On the palate, the flavors are equally rich and accompanied by vibrant acidity, long length and lasting finish.
The nearby Atlantic Ocean bestows a slight salinity, which makes albarino a perfect food wine, especially complementing most cooked seafood, both fish and shellfish. The grape is citrusy in nature, lighter in alcohol, with firm acidity, which makes it a natural partner.
Typically, the albarino goes well with ceviche and sushi, and this is why it pairs so well with Salt Creek Grille’s ahi tuna stack – which comes sashimi style, stacked with avocados and cucumber wasabi. If ever there was a perfect connection between wine and food, albarino is effective in bringing out the flavors and natural sweetness of the seafood while enhancing them with the grapes lemony acidity.
Dr. Loosen Estate Riesling Dry Red Slate, Mosel, Germany 2014
Reisling is a versatile grape from Germany. Located in the far westerly region, close to the border with Luxembourg, the Mosel Valley is Germany’s most internationally prestigious wine region. The valley’s steep, south-facing slopes create the perfect climate for riesling, giving the vines ideal exposure to the sun. The cooler climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly while retaining bright acidity.
The wine is famously dry, but is produced with fruit from vineyards in the red slate soils of nearby villages, giving it an intense minerality that is warm and enveloping. It does, however, have a floral, spicy, citrus-blossom aroma and a harmonious palate.
The dry style riesling pairs excellently with Salt Creek Grille’s stuffed jumbo shrimp. The spicy flavors and textures from the bacon-wrapped horseradish and shrimp are emphatically brought to life by the wine’s ripe and juicy essence.
Damilano Barbera d’asti Barbera, Piedmont, Italy 2014
Barbera is a red grape variety originating in the hills of Monferrato in central Piedmont, that has become the third most planted red grape variety in Italy. It has all the hallmarks of food friendliness with its high acidity, low-medium tannins and balanced alcohol. The barbera d’Asti itself is produced in the hilly areas of the provinces of Asti, close to Turin.
The Damilano barbera has an intense purple red color, and is fruity with light spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is ethereal with notes of currant, violet, cherry and a touch of vanilla, with a persistent finish.
This wine is typically excellent when paired with swordfish, burgers and especially with Salt Creek Grille’s bacon and goat cheese flatbread. It’s important to remember that all Barberas are not the same. Some modern-style barberas can be oaky, which is why it pairs well with items off the mesquite grille. The barbera’s bright fruit can help make the flavors of a dish pop and makes it one of the few wines that pair well with the bacon and goat cheese flatbread.
El Enemigo Malbec Mendoza, Argentina 2012
Malbec is a classic grape selection and offers a full-flavored wine with an inky dark color and robust tannins. The Mendoza region, located in the eastern foothills of the Andes, is the leading producer of malbec in Argentina and is considered the heart of the winemaking industry. Mendoza’s high altitude regions are notorious for producing Argentina’s most highly rated malbec wines. These regions subject the grapes to increased light intensity – the impact of which El Enemigo co-founder Alejandro Vigil is investigating, in partnership with famed-winery Catena Zapata.
This Malbec itself is rich and concentrated. It offers aromas of black fruit, cherry and dark berry on the nose, followed in the palate by a full-bodied wine with flavors of spice, blackberry, black cherry, pepper and a slight floral character. The finish is elegant and lengthy.
The El Enemigo malbec is a perfect pairing with Salt Creek Grille’s coffee encrusted New York steak due to its robust character, but also for its ability to hang with the powerful flavors of the blue cheese as a result of the fruit’s forwardness.
Salt Creek Grille – Princeton
1 Rockingham Row
About Salt Creek Grille
Salt Creek Grille offers sophisticated fare in a casual upscale setting, putting a creative spin on traditional American favorites. The restaurant’s open, exhibition-style kitchen serves up fresh dishes that are light and healthy yet more flavorful than ever, with an emphasis on organic and locally sourced ingredients. Visit www.saltcreekgrille.com or call 609-419-4200 for reservations. For private parties and group sales, contact Lauren Hartwyk, Sales Manager at 609-419-4250.
About Hugh Preece
As operations partner at Salt Creek Grille, Hugh Preece has over 25 years of restaurant management, community leadership and philanthropic experience. Having overseen the very first meal served at Salt Creek Grille Princeton, Hugh has played an instrumental role in the restaurant’s growth since its launch in 2006. Today, Salt Creek Grille Princeton is a local favorite—known as much for its fresh fare and inviting ambiance as it is for its role in the community, through partnerships with Princeton sports teams, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, and local businesses, as well as ongoing support for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Donate Life, United Way of Mercer County, and other charities.
Hugh is also a connoisseur of wines, responsible for Salt Creek Grille’s extensive wine list of more than 75 varietals, many of which are catalogued on his blog, Vino on the Nose. With his passion for wine, food, and entertainment, Hugh has been recognized with multiple awards including the Walt Disney Delivering the Difference Award, Operator of the Year, Most Profitable Region of the Year, and Culinary Operations of the Year.