Food and Wine Pairings
Kevin Cornish is the Beverage Director at Canoe restaurant in Atlanta, GA. He has been with Canoe since 2005, when he started behind the bar. He has been working in the industry since 1989. His first position was at the New York Athletic Club Traver’s Island property as a busser. Since that time, Kevin has worked in every facet of the foodservice industry. Kevin began his study of Hospitality Management at Virginia Tech and finished at Georgia Southern University.
At Canoe, Kevin worked under the guidance of Matt Bradford, an advanced Sommelier, to help develop Canoe’s wine program and broaden his own knowledge of wine. Responsible for a wine list containing over 450 selections, Kevin is in the constant pursuit of finding great wine to pair with great food. Having passed his first level of the Court of Master Sommelier, Kevin continues to grow and advance his studies to further pursue more levels of certification. He will sit for certification next spring when the court returns to Atlanta.
Kevin has traveled to study wine in Italy in 2011, visiting Tuscany and Piedmont. In 2015, Kevin traveled to Oregon to learn and develop his knowledge of the Willamette Valley. In 2016, Kevin will visit wineries in California and has been invited to attend Malbec camp in Mendoza, Argentina, hosted by Laura Catena of Catena Wines.
Kevin’s Food and Wine Pairings
Eggs Benedict Quiche
So what goes better with breakfast? Champagne. With this fantastic take on a classic dish, sip on some Domaine Nomine-Renard, a fresh and elegant Champagne, with lots of minerality and citrus fruits aromas. Drop a bit of fresh orange juice to make it a mimosa, or not. Either way, you’re a winner.
Wild Boar Sausage & Soppressata
In my travels to Italy, they are kings of cured meats. So what better to pair with than a beautiful Tuscan blend. Poggio Verano ‘3’ is an equal blend of three grapes: Alicante (which is the native name for Sangiovese), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This is partially aged in oak to give the wine a zesty touch of spice behind the notes of cherry, blackberry and plum. The palate is soft, with mild structure, and it finishes chewy and fruity.
With richness of the Brie, a wine with bright acidity is a must. I recommend Stoller Rosé from Oregon. Lively fruit and acidity are on the palate which helps to balance the cheese. A rosé from Pinot Noir, this wine is dry and plays well with the creaminess of the Brie. Positively delightful.
A beautiful cow’s milk bleu cheese from California, slightly piquant and rich, needs acidity. Where else to look, but champagne or German Riesling. Selbach makes an off-dry Riesling, where the fullness of the cheese matches beautifully with the slight sweetness in the wine. If all else fails, pop a bottle of bubbly and drink a brut champagne with this gorgeous bleu.
Shrimp & Grits Cake
What could be better: shrimp, bacon, Vermont cheddar, southern style grits, and a little Poblano pepper? How about a little Napa Valley chardonnay? Matanzas Creek makes a great chard with good crisp fruit, medium body, and great acidity to pair with Russell’s shrimp cake. With the flavor combinations in the cake, you need a wine with slightly more “oomph” so as not to be over powered by all the wonderful flavors in the dish.
These beauties are poached in chardonnay, so let’s pop open abottle of Chablis. One of the premiere regions in France that produces chardonnay, Jean-Marc Brocard takes great care in putting forth an elegant and refined wine. The result is a pure, mineral and concentrated wine, typical of its appellation. The nose is fresh with floral and citrus aromas. The palate is rich,with great finesse supported by a rich structure. The dill, lemon, Dijon, and green onion flavors in the salmon cake will meld perfectly with the wine.
Slow roasted brisket…let’s have some Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Slingshot is crafted to complement, not over-power, making this a welcome addition to any meal. There is rich cherry on the palate to match the cheerywood involved in the smoking of the beef. Wild acidity and balanced tannins will make your enjoyment of this slider even greater.
Bleu Cheese Meat Ball
Made with Italian Sausage, what better to drink with but a little Italian wine. Poggio Verano ‘3’ is an equal blend of three grapes: Alicante (which is the native name for Sangiovese), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This is partially aged in oak to give the wine a zesty touch of spice behind the notes of cherry, blackberry and plum. The palate is soft, with mild structure, and it finishes chewy and fruity.
Goose liver and truffle? Let’s get serious here and get some bold, luscious wine. 3 Ball Winery makes a great zinfandel out of California. Great tannic structure, but not too jammy, this wine lends itself to the richness of the appetizer. Big flavors all coming together make this wine pairing a big winwin.
Tandoori Chicken Satay
Spicy and savory, the marinating blend makes this satay a perfect match for syrah. Out of the Rhone valley, Tenet Wines makes a 100% Syrah out of the southern most part of the valley. Almost black with reddish hues. The nose is both complex and intense, of black plum, china ink, blood orange and hints of pencil lead. A very fresh and vibrant wine with underlined by hints of toast and cocoa. It is framed by refined tannins and good acidity. Never overpowering, yet always complimentary.
Thailand Chicken Satay
Got some spice in your life, you will need a little sugar to balance that out. Lemongrass, ginger and coconut propel the flavors in this satay, which make it more difficult to pair with wine. However, add some bright acidity and residual sugar and you end up with a match made in heaven, or Germany. Selbach makes an off-dry Riesling, where the spices in the dish matches beautifully with the slight sweetness in the wine.
Egg Nog Bread Pudding
I am a sucker for bread pudding and this dish delivers on every level. Coming into the holiday season, might I suggest you try a solera style sherry from Alvear. The wine is made from the Pedro Ximinez grape, from a vintage that dates back to 1927. Solera style wines can last for centuries and keep the integrity of the original vintage because it is only made on the vintages that are deemed the best (which may be years apart). Rich, dried fruit and spice with no abundance of sweetness make this pairing my holiday wish. On a side note, if you are feeling adventurous, take a little nip with the French toast tart. You won’t be disappointed.