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Food and Wine Pairing Basics From the Experts Behind The Dreaming Tree Wines

  • A look inside The Dreaming Tree Wines dinner celebrating the debut of its 2012 Central Coast "Everyday" White Blend. The dinner was held at the iconic farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • Chef Dan Barber introduced the special dinner he created just for the event saying with a glint in his eye: "I hope your expectations aren't too high." Chef Barber had continually making adjustments leading up to the dinner in order to highlight the best seasonal ingredients.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • The table's decor took cues from the surrounding and included florals and branches.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • Wines served included The Dreaming Tree Wines the 2012 Central Coast “Everyday” White Blend, 2011 Central Coast Chardonnay, 2010 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, and the 2010 North Coast Crush Red Blend.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • An amuse-bouche that kicked off the evening was paired with the 2012 Central Coast “Everyday” White Blend.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • Farm fajitas with smoke shrimp, pickled and fermented winter vegetables were paired with 2011 Central Coast Chardonnay.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • A tree of fennel that was accompanied with scissors. 

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • Ricotta gnocchi with black trumpet mushrooms was paired with 2010 North Coast Sauvignon.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • Loin and belly of lamb with hokum carrots and toasted spices was paired with 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
  • Chocolate whole wheat brioche with barley malt ice cream and coffee meringue was paired with 2010 North Coast Crush Red Blend.

    Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

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Food and Wine Pairing Basics From the Experts Behind The Dreaming Tree Wines


Food and Wine Pairing Basics From the Experts Behind The Dreaming Tree Wines


We were lucky enough to be invited to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Chef Dan Barber’s iconic farm-to-table restaurant in Tarrytown, New York, for a dinner hosted by The Dreaming Tree winemaking team. Fabulous wine and Chef Barber’s food is just not something you pass up.
The Dreaming Tree wines was launched in 2011, a collaboration between Sonoma County winemaker Steve Reeder and Dave Matthews (yes, that Dave Matthews). The company was named after “The Dreaming Tree,” a track from the Dave Matthews Band “Before These Crowded Streets” album.
The label has continued to add to its portfolio since its debut—its latest—a very appealing “Everyday” white, the kind of wine you could sip just about anytime, anywhere.
The Dreaming Tree winemaker Tom Gore shared with us: “For our dinner, Chef Dan Barber created an original menu that progressed from light and fresh to heavier and more complex, and finishing with a fruit-forward ending. It was important for us to create a careful balance between flavors and we went back and forth a few times on our dessert pairing before finally deciding to pair the Whole Wheat Chocolate Brioche with our red blend, Crush. As a meal progresses, so does the wine.”
Since the spectacular dinner took special care with food and wine pairings we had to ask The Dreaming Tree winemakers Sean McKenzie and Gore for their food and wine pairing tips. Gore shared: “My biggest tip for pairing food with wine is keeping it simple and balanced. Consider the weight of both the food and the wine, making sure that they are equal partners in body and richness, so as not to overwhelm one another. Hearty foods pair well with hearty wines, and likewise for lighter foods and lighter wines.”
McKenzie advised, “Looking for flavor links is a great way to approach pairing food with wine. Wine aromas tend to remind us of food already, so you can create a great pairing by matching the ingredients in a dish to the aromas and flavors of a wine. The zesty flavors and acidic backbone of The Dreaming Tree Everyday pair beautifully with shellfish and cut through spicy dishes, like Mexican salsa and Indian curry.”
As far as the rules to adhere to when planning a wine progression, McKenzie advised: “In general, a meal progresses from light to heavy to sweet, and we think wine pairings should be the same way. The best way to come up with a progression is by starting with a light white wine, moving to a more full-bodied white, then on to a light red, followed by a heavier red and finally end with a sweet dessert wine.”
Click through the gallery above to go inside the intimate dinner hosted by The Dreaming Tree. Photos courtesy of The Dreaming Tree/Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com.