It is no secret that Sherry is a wine that wants to be enjoyed with food. The vast variety of styles and unique process of it's creation offer a multitude of pairing opportunities, many of which are with foods otherwise considered impossible to match with wine (artichokes and asparagus, we're looking at you). And yet, even still, new and creative knock-out Sherry pairings are being discovered each day thanks to people like the team behind Redeye Menus.
Based out of Washington, DC, Redeye Menus was dreamt up by 3 Sherry-obsessed women, Chantal Tseng, Holly Barzyk, and Carlie Steiner. Their mission?
To feature all that this underrated and underutilized wine has to offer: it's various styles and complexities.
Indeed, multifaceted wines can stand up to complex food, and this trio has determined to prove that with their monthly social supper club dinners aimed to take diners on a flight from Jerez to all countries in Asia, hence the name, Redeye Menus. Held each month in a different location, Tseng carefully and skillfully pairs Sherry wines with mind-blowingly good food prepared by different guest chefs.
So why the focus on Asian cuisine? Well Tseng discovered that while Sherry pairs beautifully with all types of cuisines, it is especially at home with the flavors of Asia when so many other wines fall short.
It's hard to get a wine that will really pair well with a lot of those flavors: soy and pickled and fermented things; really just kind of funkier, earthier, really rich, umami types of flavors. With the case of Sherry, a Fino or an Amontillado especially, they're super, super adaptable. It's kind of amazing how each part of the Sherry will sort of highlight a flavor of the food.
While each of the dinners offer exciting Sherry matches, Tseng is particularly fond of their #ToroToroTaro event held at Sushi Taro in Dupont Circle. Guests kept 3 glasses at a time so they could try each dish with multiple Sherry wines, but her standout favorites were clear:
Blue Crab with Avocado, Isonoyuki, Edamame, Mochi, Egg Yolk Vinegar Dashi
Paired with Lustau Almacenista Gonzalez Obregon Amontillado del Puerto.
Tseng says, “The Obregon Amontillado del Puerto with the crab dish was fun. The round texture of the avocado and egg didn't overpower the earthy creamy feel of the wine and the dashi vinegar tang also highlighted the minerality.”
Preserved Tuna Heart "shuto" with Pickled Melon and Peale Assage, and with West Coast Oyster
Paired with both the Lustau Puerto Fino and the Almacenista Cuevas Jurado Manzanilla Pasada
“The Manzanilla and the Fino were made for the fermented tuna hearts. I had never tasted a more perfect match up. I'm not sure anything else (minus some sakes) would work so well with the briny and tangy fattiness of the tuna and the oyster. It smelled like Manzanilla. Our chef at the time had never had dry Sherry before and became a believer after tasting the two together,” Tseng explained.
Tonkatsu Ramen, Fukuoaka style with Triple pork broth
Paired with the Lustau Don Nuno Oloroso
She elaborated, “the triple stock ramen and the Oloroso was a lesson in indulgence appreciation. The heartiness of the broth and temperature easily complimented a richer but still dry style like the Lustau Don Nuno. The spicy warmth of the Sherry and its layered mouthfeel provided ideal cushioning. Once again, it's hard to imagine a different pairing other than other similarly oxidative styles of dry Sherry.”
Paired with the Lustau East India Sherry
She said, “the Medium Cream with the hoji-cha pudding was pure delight. As a tea lover, I was more than pleasantly excited about the roasted nuttiness of the tea based dessert. The pairing was perfect.”
Hungry yet? We don't blame you! Tickets tend to sell-out fast as word is spreading about these incredible, roving dinner parties. If you find yourself in the DC area, we urge you to check out their next event, if you can snag a seat. The next menu is currently in the planning stages but will have a focus on Indian cuisine, and you can keep an eye out for the details on their website, Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter or Instagram @redeyemenus. Ticket cost will include delicious food, meticulously-paired beverages, tax, and gratuity.
13 May 2016