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May 1, 2010 08:05 AM

Wine pairing thoughts - whole suckling pig meal

Hi all - interested to get your thoughts - will be heading to Amada restaurant in Philly for a celebratory dinner and ordering a specialty - whole baby suckling pig with some sides.

So my basic question is...

If you were eating this

...and had this wine list in front of you

with about 6 people, what wine would you order and why?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

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  1. Given the essence of the meal, I'd stay on the red (but not too heavy) side.

    Considering their 3x markups in the high-value area, I'd stay away from those.

    9 choices left in the Vino Tinto area, from $38 to $68
    Problem is, the markups here are kind of outrageous.
    Just as an example, the 2008 Joao Portugal Ramos Loios retails for less than $10, it's $58 on the restaurant's list!

    Qualitywise, all 9 on the rather mediocre side.
    I'd probably go BYOB.

    1. I like roses for one single wine spanning the girth of various types of foods and ingredients at one meal, but have also been enjoying and appreciating more sparkling roses lately. It's the jack-of-all-trades wine that I've often turned to when I'm finding it hard to pick one wine for a meal. And that label I attach to sparkling rose is not meant as a compromise - it seems to work very well with so many meals for me. So for me, I'd pick the cava rosada or the garnacha carignan rosado.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I'd do the garnacha or the cava rosado too.
        Reasons: white too light, lighter weight red, good acidity to cut through fat.

      2. Philadelphia wine list prices are high because restaurants have to buy their wine at retail prices through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). And because the market seems to tolerate high mark-ups on that.

        I think I'd want something with a decent level of acidity and that wasn't too heavy. For me, gritting my teeth at the mark-up, I'd consider the Bierzo.

        1. RicRios is right: the markups on that winelist are obscene. Maybe I am spoiled by the modest markups on Portuguese wines in Newark and Elizabeth - I just had a nice Alvarinho for $18 a bottle at Coimbra in Newark.

          The Bairrada region in the middle of Portugal has roast suckling pig (leitao) as its signature dish. They also grow a fiercely tannic grape called Baga, which is the main ingredient in traditional Bairrada red wines. The still versions go quite well with leitao, but even better is the sparkling red version - something about the tannins and high acidity of these wines that helps offset the richness of the pig. Oh, you will see people drinking white sparkling wines too, so maybe the Cristalino Brut Cava would be a good choice off that list. Otherwise, the Victory Prima Pils might be a good way to demonstrate your contempt for their wine pricing.

          Here is a great leitao place in my neck of the woods:

          1 Reply
          1. re: jmoryl

            Thank you all so much for your time and thoughts. The markups are absolutely insane in Philly and the descriptions of why that is above are in tune with what I've heard. We're blessed with a multitude of great BYOB restaurants in Philly, so that combined with some great wine stores right over the river in NJ combine to make it a non-issue for many meals out - but I always find myself in this tough spot when I want to order some wine in a full service restaurant.

            All of their beers are outstanding and the Prima Pils or the Farmhouse may be the way to go - especially after reading the above.