Sharing is Caring

top pairing
by Tejal Rao with photos by Antoinette Bruno
Vol. 3
December, 2006   
Restaurant
  • Ecco
  • 40 7th Street
  • Atlanta, GA 30308
Who
  • Sommelier Vajra Stratigos
  • Just as specific vineyard location plays an important role in wine’s personality, sommelier Vajra Stratigos describes his food and wine philosophy as finding the wine that works within the restaurant's space. His interest in how the environment affects the meal as a whole comes through in a series of well-thought out pairings that exemplify how the idea of terroir can be taken to its philosophical limits to create a wine experience that amplifies the food as well as the design of the space. The location in question? The Atlanta Fencing Club. But a space that used to connote Southern exclusivity has been transformed into a casual chic restaurant whose food, wine program, and design all emphasize the restaurant’s elegant and rustic theme. From the small plates for groups to the wine notes handed to each diner, to the comfortable and trendy design, Ecco is all about sharing.
Wine
Les Cailloux, Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, France ‘05
Dish
House-Made Garganelle, Braised Rabbit, Chanterelles, and White Asparagus
Pairing Note
The earthiness of the wine matches the mushrooms without overpowering the delicate flavor of the rabbit meat. The round, brilliant acidity and notes of honeycomb cut the richness and creaminess of the dish. And while this wine has some real weight, it doesn't overbear the simple and delicate pasta.
Wine
Château du Trignon, Gigondas, France ‘03
Dish
Fig-Glazed Lamb Loin, Grilled Domestic Frisée, Goat Cheese, and Roasted Piquillos
Pairing Note
The earthiness of the wine matches the mushrooms without overpowering the delicate flavor of the rabbit meat. The round, brilliant acidity and notes of honeycomb cut the richness and creaminess of the dish. And while this wine has some real weight, it doesn't overbear the simple and delicate pasta.
Wine
Alain Jaume, “Grande Veneur,” Côtes du Rhône, France ‘04
Dish
Braised Short Ribs Stuffed with Piquillo Peppers; Fried Goat Cheese; House-Cured Chorizo with Cider-Roasted Pears
Pairing Note
The series of traditional Basque small plates is varied in flavors and strength with sweet cherry notes to match the varying degrees of earthiness, acidity, meatiness and dairy. A great multiple-appetizer or small plates match.
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