It happens. In fact, it happens more often that I would like to admit.
In this case, I gambled on a wine pairing and lost. The wine itself was nice, but it was not the right wine for the meal.
Two weeks ago, I made a veal, pork and beef tourtière with a crème fraîche crust. As I serve my tourtière with pickled beets, cornichons and bacon marmalade, I thought a rosé would be a good complement.
I was worried that the salty condiments would bring out the acidity in a white wine. While I was certain that a lighter red like a Pinot Noir would work, with such spring-like weather in the air, I was tempted by a rosé. With some tannins from the contact with the grape skins, rosé wines usually pair well with food without overpowering them.
So, perusing the shelves at the LCBO, I picked a Rosé d’Anjou by Remy Pannier from the Loire Valley, France ($11.95). Although I knew nothing about the wine, I have had many a rosé from the Loire and find them to be slightly dry, with a hint of strawberries or other red fruit, and a nice lemony finish. My tourtière, containing the lighter pork and veal, and with a tangy crust, should have paired nicely with such a wine.
Had I taken a moment to note the residual sugar as being a 2 (0 being very dry), I would have paused. Although the sugar content is not an absolute indicator of how sweet a wine will be on the palate, it can give you an idea. In this case, this wine turned out to be sweet; not as sweet as ice wine or other dessert wines, but with distinct sugar on the palate. In addition, it was more than a little fruity in taste with only a hint of acidity.
I liked this wine. It was a pretty salmon colour with lovely summer berries on the nose. However, it was not structured enough to have with the robust tourtière and did not stand up to the pickled condiments. As a summer wine with a lemon chicken or even a Greek salad, I think it would be lovely. As a dinner wine with tourtière? Not a good choice.
I was wrong. It happens.