• Perfect pairings

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    As the Filipino Christmas season begins this September, so will endless parties, celebrations and nights out fill up calendars. And what good is a celebration without the perfect combination of food and drink—or to cut to the chase, the perfect combination of anything edible with wine.

    The saloon-inspired Village Tavern restaurant in Bonifacio High Street has made headway in Yuletide festivities when it jointly hosted with wines and spirits distributor Future Trade Inc., in partnership with the US Deptartment of Agriculture, the “American Extra-vaganza” dinner party on August 28, featuring Robert Mondavi wines paired with American dishes courtesy of Filipino-British chef Josh Boutwood.

    “Robert Mondavi is one of the pioneers of Californian wine. His dream was to put a bottle of wine on every American table. With this he kept in mind the various flavors of American food classics from all over the country. Chef Boutwood also kept this in mind when he created the dishes for the evening. A tasting was held to see which American dishes will best fit the wines, and he developed a great menu for the evening,” said Eric Kahn, Future Trade’s marketing director for wines.

    To usher in a festive mood, guests were welcomed with Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot and Strawberry White Wine slushies paired with Buffalo Bites of American franks and tender ground chicken.

    Chef Boutwood also served Mini Empanadas filled with USDA prime brisket and Californian raisins and spices for a local twist on the all-American ingredients.

    Meanwhile, the three-course dinner began with the chef’s New England Clam Chowder, paired with Mondavi’s selection of Woodbridge wines. “You don’t want one flavor overpowering the other,” Kahn suggests.

    The main course was a Sous Vide USDA flank steak paired with Woodbridge Merlot that brought out the tenderness and quality of the meat; and for dessert, Bourbon with Vanilla Cream on Warm Butter Cake ended the meal on sweet note.

    If you want to enjoy your next glass of wine, Kahn recalled his simple golden rule of “looking for balance.”

    To him, knowing how to pair that perfect dish with your wine makes all the difference in enjoying Christmas celebrations in the coming months.

    “At the end of it all there is no right or wrong answer to food and wine pairing. My rule is go with what makes you happy,” he concluded.

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