Category Archive: WINE PAIRINGS

Corks and Canvas: An Experiment in Pairing Wine with Art

Posted on August 28, 2014

corks and canvas
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Several years ago, when I started this blog I wanted to pair wine with the world around us.  I figured I could pair wine with just about anything.  For the longest time I was pairing wine with music.  I had ideas to pair wine with cars (which I did with Lexus and Champagne), wine with dead celebrities and wine with art.  When I took my new job as beverage director for the Cohn Restaurant Group, my blogging time became much more limited and many if these concepts got put on the back burner.  However, two years before, I hosted several art shows where I experimented in pairing wine with art.

Pairing wine with art was very different from pairing wine with music.  The reason being, I actually had artists showing their work and pouring the wine I paired with their pieces.  As with music, I would drink a bottle of wine and find the right songs that paired with it.  It would be up to the readers of the blog to take my word for it.  This experiment, pairing wine with art really took off.  People enjoyed walking around and visiting with the artists and trying the wines.

Galleries always serve wine during shows, but very few actually think about what they are serving.  I wanted to take it to the next level and make sure that each wine paired with the art they were viewing.  Thus I created Corks and Canvas.  What also makes Corks and Canvas unique is that all the artists work within the restaurant industry.  They are all employees of the Cohn Restaurant Group.  I remember when I was in art school, I would paint by day and work by night.  The most difficult part was finding an outlet to show my work.  I sympathize with our employees, they work long hours in a demanding industry and then have to save enough energy to create.  Worse is that after hours of working and creating they need to find an outlet to show their work.  I figured why not combine the two.  Give our employees an outlet to show their work and support them on their creative endeavors.

The art show also becomes a wine sale, all the wines are available to buy along with the art.  So if you buy a painting you might as well by the wine so you can enjoy the pairing in the comfort of your own home.  Many times people could not buy both, so instead they bought the wine which would remind them later of the painting.

Now, there is a process behind pairing wine with art.  I wrote a pretty detailed description awhile back ago, it was one of my first posts.  During the show I will project slides on how to pair wine with art on a large video wall.  This is a one of a kind event. You get to learn about pairing wine with art, enjoy seeing art and taste wines before you buy.  Hors d’oeuvre will also be served.

Here is a brief bio of all the artists presenting.

NIcholas Roth Artist Bios 20142 Artist Bios 20143 Artist Bios 20144 Artist Bios 20145
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Pairing Champagne and Lexus

Posted on December 4, 2013

On December 11th I will be back at it again, making outrageous wine pairings.  I will attempt to pair Champagne and Lexus sports cars.  I don’t want to hear anything about drinking and driving, that is not what I am condoning.  Let’s get off our PC high horse, we all know drinking and driving is wrong.  I am a conceptual artist so let me have some fun. (In moderation of course).

The idea first came to me when my good friend, the wine buyer at Vintana of Escondido, Sheehan McCoy came to me and said he wanted to have a Champagne event inside the Lexus dealership which share the building with Vintana.  Those that know me, know that I could not resist another attempt to demystify wine.  I thought Sheehan’s idea was great.  So expounded on it and paired each car with a particular champagne. Because tasting wine and seeing cars is not enough for me, I had to put together a short video which walks you through the pairing.

What it all really comes down to is that the Lexus IS and the Lexus LFA Super car are down right sexy cars. The only wine that can really pair with these cars is Champagne.  They share many things in common.  Lexus and Sparkling wine are the creations of great minds.  Both will stand the test of time.  Both are sleek, classy and are exhilarating.  The Lexus IS F Sport is the more affordable of the two cars.  It has power and performance which needs a sparkling wine that is affordable but over delivers.  I paired it with Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee, a creamy sparkling wine with great acidity.  The LFA Super car is rare and in a completely different class.  This car was meant for the race track.  See this car turn the corner down your street and heads will be turning.  There is the white LFA inthe show room which I paired with the elegant, refined Ruinart blanc the blanc.  The black LFA looks more serious so I paired it with one of the world’s leading Champagne’s Moet n Chandon Imperial Rose.  This wine is much more serious, fuller bodied with structure only Pinot Noir could give.

It gives me goose bumps the size of Champagne bubbles when I hear the roar and hum of the engine.  Any person arriving to a party in either of these cars deserves to be given a glass of Champagne when walking in the door.  These cars are supreme and deserve a supreme wine, you cannot get more supreme than Champagne.  Champagne and Lexus are meant for each other.  If I have not proved it yet, then maybe this will blow your mind.  The first Lexus commercial in America was a Lexus with a stack of Champagne glasses on its hood showing how smooth the engine ran.  Bam!  There you go, Champagne with Lexus the perfect pairing.

If you would like to attend the event on Wednesday December 11th you can buy tickets here:
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Champagne and Lexus

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Food and Wine Pairing: Weight, Bridge & Volume

Posted on July 5, 2013


A few weeks ago a good friend of mine, Aaron Epstein of Le Metro asked me to contribute to his newsletter with an approach to pairing food and wine.  Le Metro is a new wine club for the hip and cool kids in wine.  Aaron looks for wines that are hard to find and presents them in an underground newsletter, Le Metro.  When he told me that his July newsletter was the “dark side of Sancerre” I was excited to jump in and help.   The Le Metro newsletter is just down right cool!  The design is chic yet urban.  The wines are wines that I enjoy drinking.  And the writing, well, a lot better than mine.

My task was to taste through the Sancerres presented in the newsletter and offer a food pairing for each wine.  Aaron wanted it to be simple, straight to the point and visual.  That  was easy for me to do.  I hate over complicating wine.  We tasted two whites (Sauvignon blanc), two roses (Pinot Noir) and two reds (Pinot Noir).  My approach to pairing these wines was based on Weight, Bridge and Volume.

Weight pumping_iron

Weight is directly correlated to the weight of the protein and the body of the wine.  Let’s take white fish filet, this is a protein of a light weight.  When pairing a wine, you need to choose a light bodied wine, usually a white, such as Sancerre or Riesling.  Reds with a lower alcohol have a lower weight, such as French Burgundy or Sancerre Rouge might also work with white fish (reds work with fish if the Bridge allows for it).  A dish of a heavy weight would be red meat such as Ribeye or New York steak.  These proteins demand a full-bodied wines, typically wines with a higher alcohol such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.  Sancerre would just get lost, the weight of the protein is over powering, like walking on stilts made of crystal. (more…)

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Perfect Pairings: Wine and Oysters

Posted on January 12, 2013

oysters and wineThere is nothing better than sitting in a restaurant with a tray of oysters and a glass of white wine.  White wine and oysters is a classic pairing, unfortunately, so many people are turned off by oysters.  I just don’t get it.  Maybe because I love wine so  much, it makes sense that I love oysters too.  If you remember seeing my posts of top kid friendly restaurants, they all served oysters.

An oyster is just like a grape.  An oyster is harvested in appellations, with the right growing conditions and over time produces sugars which give it body.  An oyster’s flavor is influenced by its “terroir” or body of water.  Like wine, depending on the species of oyster, where it grows, how long it grows and when harvested will affect its flavor and texture. (more…)


Really? Another Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Posted on November 22, 2012

Good morning and happy Thanksgiving!  As most of you are in your kitchens or running to the store for butter, I am on my way to work.  I don’t say this because I want to complain.  In fact I’d rather be at work than fussing over a turkey.

I wish I could peer into your house now and see what is going on in your kitchen.  I can only imagine that there is a lot of stress.  Is the bird at the right temperature?  Did I make enough gravy?  Did I buy enough pumpkin pie?  Most importantly, which wine should I pair with my food today?  This is why I don’t mind working.  Thanksgiving can be way too stressful. (more…)

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