Top Pair: A Weighty White to End the Meal
by Lisa Elbert, Tastemaker in Residence
Berkshire Pork Loin and Cheek paired with Domaine de l'Aigle a Deux Tetes, Côtes du Jura, "Les Clous" France, 2011
For an unexpected way to finish a meal, take a page out of Sommelier Arthur Hon’s playbook, and end the night with a white. At Chicago’s Sepia, Hon takes pride in pouring guests wines they’ve never experienced. “The concept here is not really about showing depth in terms of verticals and vintages, but the breadth of the wine region,” he says. “I cover 90 percent to 95 percent of each region.”
That cellar strategy enables Hon to pull bottles like the 2011 Domaine de l’Aigle a Deux Tetes from Jura, a Chardonnay he pairs with one of the last courses on Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s tasting menu—a dish of Berkshire pork loin and cheek, Manilla clams, nettles, and fava beans. “The idea is to end the savory dishes with heavier whites,” says Hon.
The wine is aromatic with fresh citrus and stone fruit on the nose, and it maintains a lean and clean character with plenty of minerality on the finish. Because of its established structure, non-oxidized style and weight, it stands up to the powerful flavors and textures of the dish just as well as (if not better than) the more conventional choice of a Berkshire-appropriate red.