While I must admit there is nothing better with food than wine, sometimes it's fun to play with other beverages just to see how they stand up to a meal.
Fat is flavor and flavor is good. Think about it - butter, steak, cheese. All of these things taste good because of the fat content.
The reason wine goes well with food is because of the acidity, tannins and alcohol. Acid and tannins wash away the fat and leave your mouth ready for another bite. Pairing beer or spirits with food offers you a new opportunity to sip and savor new flavors.
At Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa we encourage you to play with your food so we're presenting the perfect pairing: Light 'em Up Later, a Scotch & Cigar Dinner.
On April 12 at 6:30 p.m., you can see what it's like to pair a savory steakhouse meal with Glenlivet Scotch and Jimenez cigars.
Restaurateurs for Old Homestead, Greg and Marc Sherry, will welcome Ross Graham, master of scotch for Pernod Ricard, to walk you through each course. For those of you who like scotch and cigars as much as I do, this is the perfect night. But I warn you, you'll have to be on your best behavior and only inhale the aromas of these finely crafted cigars until dinner is done.
The first course of molasses-cured bacon with root vegetable slaw and poblano dressing is matched with Glenlivet 15 and a Jimenez Robusto V cigar. Let's face it, bacon is the perfect food and the ingredients that Executive Chef Romeo DiBona combined on this dish will take the sweet almond flavors of the scotch and the caramel aromas of the cigar to the next level.
The salad course combines the zip of arugula and Jersey fennel with candied pecans and orange poppy vinaigrette. The 18-year-old Glenlivet has subtle flavors of orange brulee and a rich, fertile finish that mirrors the aromas of the Jimenez Torpedo Double Wrap cigar.
The entree is a 10-ounce mesquite-smoked filet mignon with grilled asparagus and a house-made Glenlivet steak sauce. The smoky flavors from the filet combined with the steak sauce will make for one amazing bite after another. The Glenlivet 21 has toasty flavors of dried fruit and baking spices with a round finish that will stand up to the steak. Pair that with the dried cedar and compote aromas of the Jimenez Torpedo VII cigar and you'll want to skip dessert so you can go smoke one of these great cigars. And while no dinner is complete without a little sweet, you'll have to join us to see what we have in store for you.
After a dinner like that, you'll want to stretch your legs and make your way over to Level One, where you can light up any of the Jimenez cigars that we teased you with during dinner. Go to TheBorgata.com for more information.
Anjoleena Griffin-Holst is Wine Director at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa since March 2006 and is the only female wine director at a casino-resort in the United States. She helped establish Borgatas reputation for its impressive wine selection, which includes more than 40,000 bottles and recently received four separate Best of Award of Excellence and two Award of Excellence by Wine Spectators 2011 Restaurant Awards. Her column will run every other week.