Ultimate Cuban pairings
By Allegra Angelo
CUBAN FOOD AND WINE PAIRINGS
Born and bred in Miami, Vinya tells the story of our founders (Miami-born Cuban-Americans who traveled the world and brought a world of wine back home) and the community we serve. Our love of food and hospitality runs deep, and the importance of a good wine pairing is in our veins. We rounded up our favorite Cuban dishes and the perfect bottles to wash them down.
Culture Crusaders, 2019
Fried Whole Snapper & Sancerre
The seashell, lemon-lime tang of Sancerre cuts right through the golden, lightly greasy (in a good way) crust of the fish. The marriage of a high-acid white, salt, crunch, and the silken texture of a mild white fish makes for a mouthwatering combination.
Must-drink producers: Claude Riffault, Pascal Jolivet, Pascal Cotat, Gérard Boulay, Domaine du Nozay, Château La Rabotine, and Lucien Crochet.
El Cubano Sandwich & Riesling Kabinett Style
You can’t come to Miami without trying a Cuban sandwich so you might as well wash it down with some good wine. The richness of the ham with the kick of vinegary mustard spice begs for an off-dry white. Opt for a classic Kabinett-style Riesling from the Saar or Mosel, low in alcohol but high in flavor with plenty of tartness to clean up your palate like a toothbrush.
Must-drink producers: Von Hovel, Peter Lauer (for drier styles), Dr. H. Thanisch, Knebel, Dr. Loosen, Fritz Haag, and Selbach-Oster.
Must visit: Meet a friend for lunch at Sanguich.
Michelle Bernstein’s Jamón Serrano Croquetas & Chablis
These croquettes are little pockets of goodness that melt in your mouth and crave a wine with a bit of texture and creaminess. The first thing that comes to mind is Chablis — its lemony cream, sea-salt crunch and cold stone will make you a Chardonnay (and Croquetas) fan for life.
Must-drink producers: Savary, Romain Collet, Servin, Vocoret, Alice & Olivier De Moor, Pattes Loup, Vincent Dauvissat, William Fèvre, and Garnier et Fils.
Must visit: Reserve a table at Café La Trova.
Vaca Frito de Pollo & Cru Beaujolais
Vaca Frito de Pollo is a traditional comfort dish of grilled shredded chicken with onions that likes a low tannin, juicy red wine. Gamay, the main grape of the Beaujolais region, is an approachable, crowd-pleaser varietal that impresses first-timers and rarely disappoints old-timers. Its mouthfeel is silky, almost creamy, chock-full of red and black fruits, rosy florals, and pink peppercorn spice, making it the perfect secret sauce for a simple poultry meal.
Must-drink producers: Damien Coquelet, Daniel Bouland, Domaine des Marrans, Julien Sunier, Frédéric Berne, Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois, Domaine Bertrand, Yann Bertrand, and Georges Descombes.
Must visit: Wait in line at Versailles.
Tres Leches Cake and Malmsey Madeira (10-Year or Vintage Bottling)
Tres Leches doesn’t hold back on the sweet and depending on who you ask, you’ll end up as far north as Hollywood or way down south in Pinecrest to find the best. Classically, it’s a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk, and it’s irresistibly rich, fluffy, and decadent. Rich desserts need sweet wines with aromatic intensity and gusto on the palate, and there is no better fit than a Malmsey Madeira, the sweetest style of Madeira made from Malvasia (or Malmsey grape). A good Malmsey from a good producer is generous with notes of brown sugar, caramelized banana and toffee, finishing with a citrusy, saline-like acidity. It’s a dessert all by itself, but why not break the rules and add the cherry on top.
Must-drink producers: Broadbent, Barbeito, and D’Oliveiras.
Must visit: Take a road trip west to Tres Leches Factory.