In continuing with the concept of Long Distance Sommelier-ing, I looked towards one of Meg’s creations at Too Many Chefs: Phyllo Chicken Triangles. My finished work could be more aptly described as phyllo chicken amorphous-tetrahedrals..
This recipe intrigued me because it pulled my wine pairing compass in two directions. The creamy-sweet combination of butter & crème fraîche coupled to zesty-earthy leeks had me reaching for Chenin Blanc (specifically a Vouvray from the Loire Valley). However, the succulent breast meat and damp-earth mushrooms caused me to double-clutch and consider a simple white Burgundy (Chardonnay-based). What the hell; I decided to try the dish with both wines!
As my bottles chilled, I discovered that phyllo dough requires a gentle, steady hand. Unfortunately I discovered this after wrestling with the package in an attempt to open one of the dough rolls. Several layers, uh, split and cracked, and became many more smaller layers. This is why I ended up making small tetrahedrals as opposed to the nice looking, full-sized triangles that Meg created.
Onto the wine pairings.
Chateau du Montfort Vouvray 2003 ($10) - While typically honeyed like many Chenin Blancs, this wine felt a bit bulky by Vouvray standards. Fortunately it did possess enough acidity to avoid falling into off-dry/sweet-ish country. Du Montfort paired splendidly with my phyllo pockets. It complimented the sweet-tangy quality of the crème fraîche. I also noticed the tarragon flavor became spotlighted front & center. (the wine: 3 stars out of 5)
Antonin Rodet Bourgogne AOC Chardonnay 2001 ($11) - This is an odd, yet intriguing wine. Imagine typical Burgundy characteristics (earth, golden delicious apples, and subtle vanilla spice) blended together and somehow simplified. The wine offers all these scents & flavors, but in a slightly muddled, heavy-handed package. Rodet’s Chardonnay didn’t pair terribly well with my poultry-in-phyllo. It was too full-bodied and lacked enough acidity to tease out the food’s subtle flavors. By itself, this Chardonnay is actually tasty, yet it demands a bolder food-pairing partner. What about some form of teriyaki sauce instead of the crème? Now there’s an idea…(the wine: 2.5 stars out of 5)
One out of two. Not bad.