Chef Adrianne Calvo and Mixologist Oscar Castaneda Dish On Wine Tasting

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, our master mixologist, Oscar Castaneda, discusses with his co-host, Adrianne CalvoAuthor, Celebrity Chef, and Chef/Owner of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami, FL—how to build and pair your wine selection with a food menu. The featured wines, Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon, are from Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant.

When building a wine selection based on your food menu, it’s important to match a flavor profile with a dish that will complement each other. You never want to offer a glass of wine that could be overbearing with its flavor.

“In conversations with my beverage director, I would say, ‘I have a 24-hr braised short rib that has a lot of fat and robust flavors, and I want a glass of wine that is strong enough to hold a candle to the short-rib but is not overwhelming,’” says Chef Adrianne.

As she breaks down the flavor highlights of her samplers (which Oscar tastes eagerly), we learn what reaction it has to the wine. Chef Adrianne guides Oscar’s pairing experience with a slow exercise where he takes a bite, inhales, waits 3 seconds and then takes a sip of wine. Oscar and the consumer can heighten the flavor of any dish by breathing in before tasting.

One of Chef Adrianne’s examples is a jalapeño popper paired with the Super Tuscan. The spice of the jalapeño is toned down with cream cheese, and the flavor of the wine cuts through the fat of the bacon. Similarly, Oscar tries out a couple of corn chips with the Cabernet which may seem odd but pairs fantastically.

“Some places start with tortillas or other flour-based appetizers. This is a great way to show someone that they can start with a glass of wine and pair it with this type of appetizer,” says Oscar.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Paired with:

  • Fritos Corn Chips

  • Lay's® Kettle Cooked Salt & Pepper Flavored Potato Chips

Super Tuscan

Paired with:

  • Braised short-rib

  • Jalapeño Popper

  • Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bar

  • Bark Thins Snacking Chocolate Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt

  • Aged Gouda Cheese

  • Parmesan

The Art of the Cocktail Glass

The Art of the Cocktail Glass

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Gone are the days where bars and restaurants had only a few glasses to serve beverages in. With the rise of hand-crafted cocktail, there are more glass wares available than ever.

The cocktail glass is a central component to the visual aesthetic of the beverage and this is almost (or some may argue that it is) equally as important as the actual taste of beverage.

It’s true when they say diners eat and drink with their eyes first. When a diner sees a unique looking cocktail, it’s almost impossible for them to resist the urge to order their own and to post a photo of the cocktail on Instagram. The glass of the cocktail plays into that. It only heightens the presentation.

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Beaker & Gray Amps Up Crafted Cocktails in Wynwood

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Video Produced by Vanessa C. Rodriguez

In Miami’s already world-renowned, artsy neighborhood of Wynwood, one can find Beaker & Gray, an 110-seat eatery located at the popular avenue of North Miami, which serves thoughtfully crafted cocktails using high-quality spirits.

In this episode of "Across The Bar," host Paul Barron has a chance to chat and learn from the man at the helm, manager Ben Potts, an investment banker turned bartender. After getting tired of his office job where he barely had the chance to interact with people, even going as far as calling it a “miserable lifestyle,” he decided he wanted to live a life more than long hours crunching numbers.

After reconnecting with his childhood friend and now business partner, Executive Chef Brian Nasajon, together they opened and own Beaker & Gray, which soft opened around this time last year before Art Basel 2015 began.

Potts got his start at Purdy Lounge in Miami Beach about eight years ago. Then he spent some time working at Blackbird Ordinary in Brickell (downtown Miami) and The Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami in Miami Beach.

Cocktail No. 1: The Halliwell

The Halliwell is the most popular cocktail on the menu. Potts alludes that may be due to the combination of the hot Miami weather and freshness of the vodka. Another contributing factor may be that the drink is the first listed on the Shaken menu. The ingredients are Stolichnaya Vodka, Cocchi Americano Rosa, ginger, strawberry, lemon, and mint. To prepare it, you start by muddling fresh strawberries and mint in the mixing tin, add the rest of the liquid ingredients, and then shake it up, strain it, and pour it over crushed ice.

Cocktail No. 2: The Re-Pete

The Re-Pete is actually Potts’ personal favorite drink. It’s inspired by a tiki drink called The Jungle Bird, but this one is made with Avua Cachaça aged in amburana (local Brazilian wood) casts that give the spirit a smoky flavor profile. This was the drink that our host, Paul Barron, had a chance to recreate. The ingredients are Avua Amburana-Aged Cachaça, Campari, pineapple, lime, and grated cinnamon.

Cocktail No. 3: The Inside Outside In

Lastly, Potts shared with us his most unique drink on the menu called The Inside Outside In. The base spirit is a Venezuelan dark rum called Santa Teresa Gran Reserva. He also uses Luxardo Maraschino, a sweet liqueur with herbal nutty flavors from Italy, Madeira, Angostura Bitters. After all the ingredients are combined, the mix is vacuum sealed with pineapple and crushed spices (cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, and cloves) to be left sitting for two hours.

“Once that infusion has taken place, cut the bag open. Pour out the spirit. Save the pineapple,” Potts suggested.

To serve the cocktail, he uses an absinthe rinsed cordial glass where he pours the spirit after it’s been stirred over ice with a side of cocktail infused pineapples.

Watch the episode to learn more!