Another fun evening at our place, planning a nice meal for our realtor, her husband and our mortgage broker who we can now call good friends. Our realtor and our mortgage broker fought for us, tirelessly, to get us our dream house earlier this year and we are most appreciative. So, to celebrate their two birthdays, I prepared a grilled pork tenderloin with a smoked paprika and chile rub served with a reduced, syrupy pomegranate and red wine jus and roasted cauliflower gratin. For a salad, I made a sliced raw fennel salad with mushrooms, parsley and sliced oranges with a citrusy, Dijon vinaigrette with shallots.
To pair with the salad, I chose a Viognier from France’s Rhone Valley which has some nice floral notes and can sometimes have a fresh, clean lemon/lime character in the nose. I wanted a non-domestic white because I felt that the typical higher acid would complement the raw fennel and would also work well with the lemony, Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Another wine that would work well is an Albarino from Spain’s northwest region which typically has orange and citrus notes as well. For the grilled pork and the roasted cauliflower, I chose a velvety Syrah which was a perfect pairing with the sauce for the pork and with the smokiness of the grilled pork and the zippiness of the rub. Because the cauliflower was a fairly rich dish with the melted cheese, it also worked with the boldness of the Syrah. For the main dish, any type of fruit-driven, full-bodied wine would work pretty well. Just remember, when food and wine pairing, don’t feel that there’s a right and a wrong type of wine to serve. There are simply some general guidelines but lots of great wines out there! Have fun!