Perfect pairings: "For the red wine, meat dishes are the best. In our 12-course tasting menu, we pair it with the 'Gorrotxategi' egg resting on a liquid salad of red tubers and dewlap carpaccio and our grilled sirloin 'Luismi' over a bed of Swiss chard chlorophyll and cheese bonbon. We think the best dishes for the white are squid soup: creamy squid ink ravioli served with squid crouton. The other one is the oyster with cucumber, sour fruit, kaffir leaves, and coconut."
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, Las Vegas
Will Costello, Wine Director, Mandarin Oriental
White: The Wonderland Project Chardonnay, "La Reine Blanche," Santa Ynez Valley, California 2011
"From California, we offer a wine from a very small producer. This is an only moderately oaked Chardonnay but is packed full of flavor. Much of the fruit is pulled from a small vineyard in Sonoma County. This wine is wonderful with much of the seafood chef Pierre Gagnaire creates because it balances acidity perfectly with richness."
Red: Vincent Girardin Moulin-a-Vent, "Les Hauts de la Rochelle," Beaujolais, France 2009
"This is a fantastic example of an often overlooked wine that flies off the shelves at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire. This is similar to Pinot Noir from Burgundy, but has a different complexity to it."
Texture tip: "In my humble opinion, wines which match the texture of a dish are the most important. It is more about a harmony of feeling on the palate than matching particular flavors."
Steve Wildy, Beverage Director, Vetri Family
White: Simčič Sauvignon Blanc, "Selekcija," Brda, Slovenia 2008
"This is a perception-changing Sauvignon Blanc, which can be said for most Slovenian bottlings, and especially in the case of Marjan Simčič. One of the area's most dedicated farmers, he coaxes a level of concentration and complexity from his vines that is downright astounding. This Sauvignon is fat, textured, and honeyed, but packing all the acidity and baked-stone-fruit quality that defines the grape. A perfect transition from crisp, summery whites like Ligurian Vermentino, and perfectly suited for cabbage, cauliflower, and root vegetables."
Red: Abbazia di Novacella Lagrein, Alto Adige, Italy 2010
"The complex aroma of this wine is immediately suggestive of the onset of cooler weather: dark, wild berry fruits, mushrooms and cedar, forest floor, and a hint of smoky, scorched coffee. On the palate, it's dense and fruity up front, with a wickedly earthy, spicy finish. This particular wine hails from the foothills of the Alps and is crafted by an abbey of monks who have been making wines since the 1300s, and it pairs perfectly with game birds, wild boar, truffles, and other mushrooms."
Bubbly beginning: "We have a house prosecco pour that each guest receives upon arrival as a welcome and way to settle in as they begin their evening. That wine is Elisabet, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene NV, Veneto, Italy."