I love Seattle.  It’s quickly becoming my favorite food city in the US.  Every time I travel through this town I find new reasons never to leave.  The Pike Place Market is a visual treat- teaming with people, jewel-toned fruits and emerald greens.  Tucked up above the market however, is my new sanctuary, Matt’s in the Market.  Don’t be fooled by its popular and somewhat touristy location.  This place is all authentic, local flavor at its very best.  The best part of a restaurant like this for me, is when I see how well truly authentic, terroir-driven wines from Italy can pair with the local cuisine.  It’s my Italian-American dream.

You know the restaurant is going to be delicious when you’re seated across from two wine geeks like Cavatappi’s Andy Scollard and the Wine Director of a place like Terra Plata, and they are salivating at the thought of lunch at Matt’s. Good. Sign.

The deviled eggs were delicious- boiled to the perfect point of bouncy deliciousness, and filled with a seasoned egg yolk mousse that was lighter than you’d expect, and somehow more flavorful as well. The various toppings all managed to elevate these simple and perfectly executed eggs- especially that gorgeous fresh anchovy.

The house-made potato chips were equally perfect- seasoned well, crispy, not greasy at all, and full of toasted potato flavor.  The Caramelized Bacon dip was so good I didn’t manage to snap a photo before it had disappeared!  Super creamy, hot and studded with rendered bacon.  This is what you want on Super Bowl Sunday.  Even if you don’t watch football.

And now to the point of this feast- Terlano winery.  Hey, this was a business lunch, ok? We ordered the ham-loaded burger topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and mustard, just to see how well it paired with Terlano’s famous Pinot Bianco, Vorberg.  Success all around.  The wine handled this meaty sandwich like a pro, cutting through its fatty loveliness with acidity and a bright, white peach-laced fruit.  This seriously makes me re-think my usual favorite pairing for a burger- an ice cold beer.  Maybe next time I’ll opt for Pinot Bianco instead…

Our next food & wine pairing adventure was a beautiful Vietnamese sandwich, filled with pork belly, fresh jalapenos, carrots an pickled vegetables.  Initially I thought this would be a match for the famous Quarz Sauvignon Blanc, but in the end the food had too much spice, even for such an extracted and full-bodied white.  We decided to try it with Terlano’s selection Gewurztraminer instead- the famous Lunare.  Talk about a a match made in heaven.

Terlano’s Lunare Gewurztraminer is made with super ripe grapes that are vinified in a dry style, somewhat reminiscent of an Alsatian Gewurztraminer.  The nose on this wine is just wild- all rose petals, tropical fruits, honey and jasmine.  In the mouth the wine is oily, slick and palate-coating.  There is a ton of fruit: lychee, pineapple, yellow apples and pear.

Unexpected acidity lifts this wine and keeps it from becoming cloying.  It was the perfect match to our spicy pork belly sandwich.

Of course, it is impossible to talk about Terlano’s wine and Seattle without mentioning oysters.  The dry, high-acid, perky whites of Alto Adige are such a gorgeous compliment to these briny bi-valves.  The salt from the oysters and the lovely cold zing of the wines is an unforgettable sensory memory for me.

Seattle is full of foodies and wine geeks.  I love that you cannot turn a corner in this town without running into a place like Matt’s in the Market. Serious food, served with a fun, playful  attitude.  Seattle is just right for a winery like Cantina Terlano that makes world-class wines from an inimitable terroir.  There’s always something fun to pair with these wines.

P.S.  Did I mention the Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding?  Just go here.  Matt’s in the Market.  Now.