Hit & Miss: Pedernales 2011 Texas Viognier Reserve with Miso-Glazed Sea Bass & Salmon Paté

Wine:  Pedernales 2011 Texas Viognier Reserve
Origin:  Texas High Plains, Texas, USA

Taste: Deep lemon rind yellow in color, this wine’s palate reveals lots of flesh and supple texture. The forward fruit sings of dried apricots and quince jelly while tropical and honeysuckle tones join the chorus. The moderate acidity steadies the wine’s balance impressively well, hiding its boisterous 15% abv.

Expectation: Rich seafood and poultry dishes with either a hint of sweetness or fat-derived sweetness should pair well.

Hit: Miso-Glazed Sea Bass
A brilliant pairing! The white miso, sake and mirin marinade contributes an unctuous sweetness that melds seamlessly with the wine’s decadent fruit. I thought the sake might bring some earthiness that wouldn’t connect well, but that trait doesn’t surface at all. The chunky sea bass flesh provides the right amount of body for the wine.

Miss: Les Trois Petits Cochons Salmon Paté
This salmon paté isn’t a total flop, but it isn’t a hit either. The paté’s fattiness works well with the creamy texture of the wine. However, the wine brings out a pronounced fishiness that flattens the combination. Wines with more mineral, smoky or other savory notes would work better than those with pure, opulent fruit.