Tom Caruso
 
June 2, 2016 | Food & Wine Pairings | Tom Caruso

Roast Chicken dinner with the 2013 REX HILL Jacob-Hart Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive in the Tasting Room is, “what is your favorite REX HILL wine?” And more often than not, my response will be a resounding, “It depends.” While one’s initial impression is that I’m playing it safe or don’t want to pick favorites, I proceed to explain that my view of wine mirrors that of my view of food—my favorite dish will typically be the one I’m most in the mood for. With that, it seems I have been dually tasked in choosing a favorite REX HILL wine and deciding what to pair it with.

Despite weather trending warmer and warmer here in the Willamette Valley, we’ve had a few chilly and rainy days thrust into the mix to remind us that it’s not quite summer. On those brisk evenings, I resort back to winter mode and crave something hearty – currently daydreaming about roasted chicken with some rosemary fingerling potatoes and a kale and cannellini bean couscous to round it out. My goodness, I’m starting to get hungry!

Having a dish in mind, it’s time to decide on the perfect pairing. A lot of different wines could go with this meal—red or white in color. In particular, even a lot of Pinot Noirs can go with this meal. After all, food and wine are made to go together! But to me there is one wine in particular that calls out: 2013 REX HILL Jacob-Hart Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir. It’s a wine that I love to explore in glass as it tends to move from a lifted dark cherry, raspberry, and violet floral/ fruit profile into more herbal and earthy components—playing very nicely with our dish of choice. There are a lot of complimentary flavors and aromatics going on here. Think of the smell of those rosemary potatoes wafting alongside fresh herbal aromas of the wine. Even more fun is the sensory experience on the palate. The mouth coating buttery texture of the cannellini bean couscous and protein from the chicken are whisked away by the fruit flavors, acidity, and whole cluster tannins of the wine. Perfection!

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