Kerrin Laz lists her ideas of perfect pairings for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
There’s a reason Kerrin Laz is referred to as a tastemaker. In addition to founding K. Laz Wine Collection, the Napa Valley-based wine purveyor partnered with Four Seasons Private Residences at 706 Mission St. to lead and curate its wine program. We caught up with her to get her tips on how to drink and pair like a Four Seasons resident for a special night in. All the wines are available through K. Laz Wine Collection, and all the food is available through each of the purveyors’ websites. The following are Laz’s pairing picks, as told to San Francisco magazine:
This Champagne-and-caviar duo offers luxury in the comfort of your own home. Regiis Ova Caviar with Champagne Vilmart Grand Cellier Brut NV.
1 Regiis Ova , “Royal Egg” in Latin, is the new caviar company founded by chef Thomas Keller and Shaoching Bishop, former CEO of Sterling Caviar and Tsar Nicoulai Caviar. I love their caviar simply prepared on a crisp potato chip with a dollop of creme fraiche and paired with Champagne Vilmart Grand Cellier Brut NV. Coming from the northern region of Champagne called Montagne de Reims, this premier cru brut cuvée of chardonnay and pinot noir offers tiny bubbles and deep notes of citrus fruit and toast with a long, satisfying finish on the palate. This is the perfect pairing.
The richness of Hog Island’s famous Kumamoto oysters balances well with the acidity of Massican’s wine. Hog Island Kumamoto Oysters with Massican Gemina White 2018.
2 As one says, great things come in small packages, and the Hog Island Kumamoto oysters are no exception. Originating from the Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, these oysters take an average of two to three years to reach market size, at 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches. Each tiny shell packs in big flavor: buttery, succulent meat with a lingering essence of cucumber and melon, and the 2018 Massican Gemina White marries well with its own mineral notes and bright acidity as it’s a blend of two grapes—pinot grigio and Greco. Greco, the descendant of the ancient Roman grape Aminea Gemina, is traditionally grown in Italy’s southern region, while pinot grigio is traditionally grown in the north of Italy. These two varieties rarely meet in a blend in the “old country.” Here in California, the Greco is grown in Sonoma County and pinot grigio in Napa Valley.
Cypress Grove and Pont Neuf breathe new life into the classic wine-and-cheese pairing. Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Cheese with Pont Neuf “La Fontaine” Pinot Noir 2017.
3 Cypress Grove Midnight Moon is my favorite California cheese and is the perfect pairing for reds. Like a Gouda, as this cheese ages, protein crystals form and lend a slight crunch to the otherwise dense and smooth cheese, and it is a great accompaniment to red wine, ranging from the elegant style of pinot noir all the way into the fuller-bodied reds. A mere 53 cases were produced of the exceptional 2017 Pont Neuf “La Fontaine” Pinot Noir, which comes from Silver Eagle Vineyard—a single vineyard on Stoetz Ridge that is the last ridge before the Sonoma coastline. It’s a rolling terrain that separates the Sonoma coast from the Russian River Valley. The pinot noir selections originated in Chambolle Musigny and Vosne-Romanée, and it unfolds in the glass with a burst of energy, exotic aromas and a complete range of subtle small black fruits including cassis.
Flannery Beef and Dalla Valle offer a restaurant experience without leaving home on Valentine’s Day. Flannery Beef California Reserve Dry-Aged New York Strip with Dalla Valle Collina Dalla Valle Red 2016.
4 Bryan Flannery and his daughter, Katie, are the best butchers in California and, for that matter, in the country. Their Holstein cuts of prime, dry-aged New York strip are of the quality you would only find in the best restaurants, and they beg for a full-bodied red like the stunning Dalla Valle’s Collina Dalla Valle Red 2016. This renowned winery in Napa Valley’s Oakville eastern hillside produces wines of incredible depth and balance like this gem comprised of 52% cabernet sauvignon, 39% cabernet franc and 9% petit verdot. The combination of aromatic intensity, well-toned muscle, expansive flavor palate and silky texture take the wine to a high level of hedonistic enjoyment with Flannery Beef.
Photography by: Vilmart Grand Cellier; Regiis Ova; Massican Wine; Hog Island; Pont Neuf; Cypress Grove; Dalla Valle; Flannery Bee