Our guest sommelier, Erlinda Alexandra Doherty shares her pairing suggestions with Peruvian cuisine. Peru has some of the most diverse, exquisite, and colorful food in the world. A country with biodiversity and ecosystems unmatched by any other, Peru’s cuisine has more flavors and textures than one could fathom. Its cuisine incorporates indigenous ingredients but also blends the traditions of European, African, and East Asian cultures.
So how does one pair wine with food of this depth?
Until recently, Peru has been laser-focused on spirits production, to the detriment of its own rich history in viticulture. Fortunately, this is changing and I will be covering this in subsequent posts. But for now, pairing such diverse food required wines I was confident would exhibit balance, structure, and versatility. And, because of my passion for tradition, wines that had historical significance as well. These are all elements to be discovered in GEN 7 Wines—a historic, family-owned producer crafting wines from California’s most important vineyards. Making wines since 1832, GEN 7 has been pioneering Old World winemaking techniques with California’s New World terroir for six—going on seven—generations.
Let’s explore how wines from one of California’s oldest winemaking families elevates a cuisine that celebrates its own legacy of mixing of peoples!
Petit Sirah + Ceviche
Considered Peru’s national dish and also its most popular, Ceviche and can be loosely described as “Peruvian sushi.” Thick cubed white fish is cured in fresh citrus juices, spiced with ají, red onions, salt, and pepper. Served with sweet potatoes and canchitas—toasted Peruvian corn from the Andes—this colorful dish is flavorful and surprisingly filling. GEN 7’s 2015 Premium Reserve Petite Sirah may not seem an obvious match because of its full-bodied texture, but the perfect acidity and complex rich fruit prove to be the ultimate foil for this deceptively substantial dish. The cool climate of the Clear Lake AVA result in wines that are elegant and refreshing—qualities not usually associated with Petite Sirah! But with its blue fruit flavors and subtle oak, this wine is a revelation with this quintessentially Peruvian dish.