On Tuesday, June 6th, TGATP had a blast at the third edition of the Wines of Southwest France Gourmet French Fries Competition (#VinoFries). Held in partnership with the trade publication The Wine Enthusiast, the competition sought to find the best gourmet wine and fries pairing.
Southwest France is known for its unique wines: over 300 grapes varieties are referenced in the region, 120 of which are indigenous. The Southwest’s large palette of aromatic wines, ranging from dry whites, fruity and full-bodied reds, to floral rosés and generous sweet wines, offers endless pairing possibilities. The gourmet French fries recipes created exclusively for the Competition by 5 five up-and-coming American Chefs gave evidence of the versatility of the wines of Southwest France.
The winning Top pairings were chosen by the public and by a panel of three esteemed judges: Roger Voss, European Editor at Wine Enthusiast Magazine; André Compeyre, Chef Sommelier; and Greg Rubin, Chef at American Cut and winner of last year’s People’s Choice Award.
Competition’s candidate pairings:
Dry Whites – Crisp and floral white wines were paired with Amali Chef Dan Ross-Leutwyler’s creation: tomatillo-braised pork fries. Southwest France’s indigenous white varieties offer unique wine experiences: look for Gros Manseng, Colombard and Ugni blanc.
Elegant Rosés – Kingbird’s Chef Michael Santoro’s Short Rib Phó Poutine fries paired beautifully with Southwest France rosés, celebrated for their elegance and freshness. The region’s rosés are generally pressed from indigenous grapes such as Négrette, Tannat, and Malbec.
Fruity Reds – The region’s fruity reds were paired with Boulton & Watt Chef David Rotter’s gourmet dish: fries with Maine lobster and tarragon aioli. Look for the Gaillac, Fronton or Marcillac appellations for your next red needs.
Flavorful Malbec – The Southwest’s Cahors region is home the ancestral home of the Malbec variety. To stand up to this generous and structured grape,Chef Brian Ellis from The Smith created his unique version of the classic Steak Frites: fries with brandied mushroom aioli, white truffle and peppercorns.
Full-bodied Reds – Chef Matt O’Neill from David Burke Kitchen competed for the best fry pairing with the region’s richly textured and firmly tannic red wines, made mostly from Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon: fries with Foie Gras mousse, pickled cherries and squab ragu.
People’s Choice Award – The best wine and fry pairing was awarded to the Chateau Peyros, Vielles Vignes and Chef Matt O’Neill from David Burke Kitchen. The generous flavors of the dish beautifully matched the structure of the Madiran wine, produced at the Vignobles Lesgourgues.
Judges’ Choice Award – The best wine and fry pairing was again awarded to Chef Matt O’Neill’s game fries dish, paired this time with the Chateau Bouscassé from the Vignobles Brumont, another elegant and characterful Madiran red wine.
To learn more about the event, tune in with #VinoFries on all social media and follow the region on Twitter and Facebook: @WinesofSWFrance