1. How did you end up as a Guest Mentor on The Taste?
I was on the road selling my wine and got an email from one of the producers asking if I would be interested in the opportunity! The first thing that came to mind was YOLO and I said, "Yes."
2. Each contestant was given the theme of daring pairings. What are your top three rules for pairing foods and wines – both for home cooks and our aspiring contestants?
I always look for wines that are low in alcohol, not too oaky or fruity and that have acidity. Acidity acts as an amplifier in the same way that lemon and salt do, cranking the flavor volume of the dish.
- Match the body and texture of the dish with wine
- Use high-acid wines to cut through rich sauces
- Match aromas and flavors
- Look for regional food & wine references
- Break all the rules and explore
.3. What’s are your go top two go-to red and white wines?
I'm an acid freak so the wines have to be lean and mean. As far as whites go I lean towards high-Acid, low wood wines: Riesling (Austrian/German) Chardonnay (Chablis) and Bubbles (Champagne). Red wines such as Pinot Noir (Oregon or Red Burgundy) or Cru Beaujolais is what you will find me drinking most of the time because of their versatility and medium body texture.
4. If you were competing on this show, what would you pair together to be the most daring?
I make a mean chocolate chip cookie and my favorite thing to serve with them straight out the oven is a 1979 Niepoort Colheita (vintage tawny port).