Posted: Feb 23, 2011 2:43 PM
Updated: Mar 9, 2011 9:16 AM
Wine and the Savage Bison
Once roaming free, and beholden to no man, the American Bison has been a staple on which people of North America have sustained themselves for millennia. Now corralled, if not tamed, and "Free Range" if not ranging free, this historic animal still provides a healthy, flavorful alternative to the typical feedlot-raised beef of the Midwest.
At the Cliffhouse of Manitou Springs, executive chef Scott Savage has prepared a delicious Bison Burger for your pleasure. It is my responsibility to further tame this ‘Savage' meal, and perhaps convince the mighty beast to offer a dip of his horns to a glass of wine.
Chef Savage lightly blackens the ground bison, grills it, and completes the dish with deep fried white onions, chipoltle pepper mayonnaise, and melted pepper jack cheese. Balancing the mild spiciness of the burger without hiding the bison's delicate and nuanced flavor is the goal of this pairing.
Think rosé, and please, step away from the White Zinfandel. For this wine and food pairing we want a traditional, dry rosé, with its typical appealing fruit, fresh acidity and thirst quenching quafability. While most wine producing regions of the world make some sort of rosé, I enjoin you to try a Tavel from the Southern Rhone Valley of France. Considered by many to be a benchmark for rosé wines, Tavel is made primarily from the Grenache grape, with Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Syrah varietals playing supporting roles. Tavel's friendly strawberry fruit and mouth-watering freshness provide beautiful contrast to smoky bison, and, with light to medium extract, allow subtle meat flavors to claim their share of the limelight.
One more thought - come to the Cliffhouse at Pikes Peak and enjoy the Savage Bison Burger with a half bottle of Duval-Leroy Rosé de Saigneé, a blushing Champagne that never fails to please on the first date. Just remember, we can dress your bison up, but don't recommend taking it anywhere! Cheers!