By GUY D’ASTOLFO
What foods go best with wines made with grapes grown in the Mahoning Valley?
Myrddin Winery on the shores of Lake Milton and Mastropietro Winery in the rural western part of Mahoning County both cultivate grapes for use in their own products.
The Vindicator asked them about their wines and the foods that pair best with them.
Evelyn Sperry is a co-owner at Myrddin, which offers food and wine pairing classes (go to myrddinwine.com). Here is her take on Myrddin’s products:
Timothy David Kuhne Reserve Chardonnay (a dry, white chardonnay aged in oak 26 months on the lees, or residual yeast). “It is crisp and citrusy at the start, with a wonderful oaky finish that coats the roof of your mouth,” said Sperry. “Pairs wonderfully with baked butternut squash with sage and cream. The creaminess of the squash brings out the citrus, and the sage complements the oaky tannins of the wine.”
Lady of the Lake (a semi-dry chardonnay/viognier blend): Pairs well with roasted green beans with garlic aioli sauce.
Riesling (a semi-dry white): Pairs well with seafood.
Sorcerer’s White (a semi-sweet traminette): “The sweetness and full flavor of this wine holds its own and pairs well with spicy foods,” said Sperry. “This wine pairs well with almost all foods because of the full flavor. We paired it with coconut chicken bites with sweet and spicy red-pepper sauce.”
Myrddin Wyllt (a sweet chenin blanc wine): “We paired this one with tandoori shrimp with pineapple chutney,” said Sperry. “The acidity in this wine works well with the higher acid of the pineapple.”
Taliesin (a dry chambourcin aged in second-generation American oak for four years and blended with merlot): “We pair this with our rosemary pulled pork,” said Sperry. “The oak and rosemary complement each other, while the tannins in the reds work well with the richness of the pork.”
Myrddin Emrys (a semi-sweet red): “This somewhat spicy wine goes well with dark chocolate,” said Sperry. “We pair it with our chocolate-covered grapes.
Blueberry. “Our blueberry wine is just sweet enough to bring out the blueberry,” said Sperry. “This wine was nice with the chocolate-covered grapes also.”
Oren (an orange-flavored semi-sweet chardonnay): “Delicately orange, this chardonnay pairs well with many holiday foods,” said Sperry. “We especially liked it with our gooey, orange chocolate cookies.”
Port: “Our ruby port has had a nice time to age,” said Sperry. “Smooth, but still there are undertones of berries and chocolate. Wonderful on its own or with chocolate. We pair it with goat cheese, toasted walnuts and rosemary toasts drizzled with honey.”
Vidal Ice Wine: “Our ice wine has a wonderfully complex but bright flavor of apricots and other stone fruit,” said Sperry. “This sweet wine goes well with walnuts and blue cheese because of its full body, acidity and flavor.
Mastropietro is the first winery in the Mahoning Valley to create a beautiful outdoor tasting area. It hosts entertainment events (go to mastropietrowinery.com) and offers food on Fridays and Saturdays.
Owner Daniel Mastropietro offered this overview of his wines and the foods they go with best:
Chardonnay (dry): “ Has delicate butter and apricot flavors with a hint of vanilla on the finish,” said Mastropietro. Pairs well with shellfish and poultry.
Riesling (semi-dry): “Pleasing apricot aroma and flavor with a crisp finish,” he said. Pairs well with poultry and pork.
Dolce Bianco (sweet): “Fragrant orange blossom with a delicate sweet finish,” said Mastropietro. Pairs well with desserts.
Cabernet Sauvignon (dry): “It’s a full-bodied red with up-front fruit with a hint of black raspberry,” said Mastropietro. “Has a smoky character with a long finish. Pairs well with beef.”
Sangiovese (dry): “Light bodies ... Chianti grape with soft spice, black cherry and plum flavor, and a crisp finish,” he said. Pairs well with pasta.
Chambourcin “Estate Grown” (semi-dry): “A full-bodied wine with floral scents with a dark-berry jammy flavor,” said Mastropietro. Pairs well with cheddar cheese, lamb and chocolate.
Frontenac: A port-style dessert wine. Pairs well with chocolate.