Which wines go with Peruvian food?

Chicas y Chicos,

Señorita  Vino is traveling to the mother country this week (that would be Peru). In the spirit of the journey, here’s a re-post of a piece on which wines to pair with Peruvian food. 

Happy eating and I’ll be back soon!

If Peruvian cuisine were a movie star, she’d be stalked by paparazzi, grace the covers of fashion magazines, and receive an audience with the Pope. Ah, but  if  wine were her consort, what lucky devil would have the privilege of escorting her on the red carpet?

Ever the match-maker, Señorita Vino recently had the privilege of selecting wines to go with various Peruvian-style dishes prepared by Peruvian chef Renzo Pinillos Luck. Here, for your pairing pleasure, is what we created:

1. Aperitif – Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Reserve. Alsace, France

Think of this sparkling wine as a palate cleanser. The elegant little bubbles in this fruity, dry wine from France’s Alsace region set the stage for a rich and varied menu.

2. Butifarra (Peruvian Chicken Breast Sandwich) and 2010 Phebus Torrontes. Salta, Argentina.

Butifarras are usually served with pork, but this genteel take on a street food classic went beautifully with with the citrusy Torrontes from one of Argentina’s famed wine growing regions. The crisp, stainless-steel fermented dry white complemented the creaminess of the chicken salad filling. ¡Delicioso!

3. Triple White Bread Sandwich with Avocado, Egg, and Tomato and 2009 Harbor Front Chardonnay. Monterey, Calif.

Tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple, with a splash of orange, brought the tanginess of the tomato and the butter of the avocado to life on this Latin-American twist on the club sandwich.

4. Cheese and Fruit Platter with Papa a la Huancaina and 2009 Bougrier ‘V’ Vouvray. Loire Valley, France.

A modern take on the Peruvian staple, papa a la huancaína.

A creamy white wine with a hint of sweetness, this Loire Valley classic displays some minerality, which is characteristic of the soil from this world-renowned grape growing region. The slight residual sugar in the wine balances the salty cheeses, and at the same time it complements the fruit. The Vouvray’s creamy flavor helps tame the slight kick of the ají amarillo in the huancaína sauce, which is poured over boiled potatoes.  

5. Pionono with Dulce de Leche, Strawberries, Almonds and Chocolate and Rivata Brachetto Piemonte. Piedmont, Italy.

Sí, chicas – they make piononos in various Latin American countries, but the Peruvian version features dulce de leche and good-for-you treats such as fresh strawberries and almonds, which are packed with ‘good’ fats. It’s a guilt-free dessert. Kind of. Because of the pionono’s high sugar content, I paired it with a sweet sparkling wine from Italia. Just enough sweetness to complement the dessert without making you feel like you’ve devoured the sugar bowl. And the bubbles help cleanse the richness of the dessert, leaving you with a fresh palate.

Ready for his close-up: Chef Renzo, a man outstanding in his Peruvian cocina.

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