Food and Wine Pairings: A Q & A with Anthony Pierpont

I’m here today with Anthony Pierpont, former restaurant and bar manager at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Barbara, California, to discuss unusual food and wine pairings.

Q: So, what are your favorite outside-the-box ideas?
Pierpont: Currently, I am really into pairing a crisp, dry sparkling wine with a variety of Asian foods, like Thai food or sushi. Typically, Asian food has spicy elements, much spicier than French or Italian fare. Conventional wisdom says spicy food and wine does not work, but I beg to differ. Find a dry, or “brut,” bottle and order some take-out for a delicious and fun date at home. I find dry sparkling wine works well with simple Mexican dishes as well.

Q: How about for dessert? What combo would you serve at a dinner party?
Pierpont: Desserts, especially for a dinner party, should be very low-maintenance. A simple high-quality dark chocolate can go a long way. Pairing a dark chocolate with Madeira, while well established, is an obscure combo. Most people have never tried a Madeira, so I enjoy making it the centerpiece of dessert by pairing it with a simple, common, dessert like chocolate.

Q: That sounds easy.
Pierpont: Indeed, and it is easy to seamlessly introduce at a dinner party. One more random pairing before I go, Oatmeal Stout and chocolate bread pudding.

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Anthony Pierpont holding a large bowl of prawns
Anthony Pierpont
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