Sometimes there are dishes that you don’t normally think about pairing with wine. Take perogies for example. This eastern European dish is a dough dumpling stuffed with a filling such as mashed potato or cottage cheese, or a combination of these two ingredients. I grew up with perogies and we didn’t have wine with them. Fast forward to the present; I promised a cousin a Ukrainian dinner, filled with perogies and cabbage rolls. But what wine to pair with them?
My thought process. First the perogies are not spicy. If you boil them only (as I did), they are rather bland, but make it up in creamy texture. You may get some sourness from the cottage cheese. With the perogies you serve brown butter, and maybe one or more of fried bacon bits, sour cream, or fried onions. For my dinner it was brown butter and fried bacon bits. The brown butter adds additional weight to the dish and the browning some bitterness. What type of wine would work with this combination of flavour and textures. White wine was my first thought. I wanted a wine fuller bodied, with it’s own creaminess, medium acidity and some fruitiness as the perogies do not have that much flavour. I dropped Sauvingon Blanc from the selection as I thought it’s higher acidity and lighter body in general, would be too much contrast, and would overpower the perogies. My next idea, and the one I selected, was Viognier. A medium acid grape, nice stone fruit flavours, and tends to be medium bodied, or more. Into my cellar I pulled a bottle of Calliope Wines Viognier 2014 from the Okanagan.
Here are my tasting notes for the wine followed by my pairing result.
Calliope Wines Viognier 2014 ($15.99+tax) – Lighter straw colour in the glass. A nice fresh fruit nose, with aromas of lees, stone fruit, in particular peach, with a hint of orange and an edge of pine needles. With decanting the aromas become a bit subdued, so I recommend to drink this wine as soon as it’s opened. Dry on the palate, medium plus acidity and very fruity. Ripe pears, peaches and apples followed by some pineapple. Very round, buttery, and smooth. Heavier mouth feel, but has a nice acidic prickle on your tongue. Some pine needles, leafiness, peaches and pepperiness on the finish.
Rating: Fresh BC stone fruit in the glass.
How was the pairing? It worked. The Viognier and perogies was a complementary pairing. The heavier body together with the acidity and fresh fruit flavours played off nicely with the creaminess and butteriness of the perogies. A recommended pairing!