Pairing Off: Deviled Eggs

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Each week, Pairing Off attempts to find just the right bottle of wine to go with ordinary food.

Why restaurants leave this snack to family reunions and church gatherings, I'll never know. There are infinite possibilities (well, not infinite, but quite a few), almost everyone likes them and line cooks can whip them up in advance, so there's no frenzied dinner rush preparation.

Of course, if you haven't made deviled eggs in, oh, 20 years...Let's just say the friend I coerced into fixing the things decided to put her own stamp on the age-old recipe. Either that, or she miscalculated the number of egg yolks necessary to create a fluffy filling.

This after she first covered hard-boiled eggs in mayonnaise and reached for the masher.

Guess I'm trying to get across that these were not the most traditional of deviled eggs, at least in appearance. The flavor, however, was of a good old, straightforward, picnic variety--which means the wine must contend with fat, protein, tang and spice.

The young clerk at Cork in West Village thought almost immediately of something sparkling, but not sweet--Poema Cava, an inexpensive (around $15, tax included) bottle from Spain.

The wine is not very impressive by itself, with a nose limited to silt and pomace and the taste of fruit, hay, cucumber and sand that snaps shut. But this quick finish and brief range of flavors works beautifully with deviled eggs. That touch of fruit at the beginning tightens into a more intense apple then fades out, leaving the sharp, vegetal bite complementing all that runny mayo. The sandy note redefines itself as something of a more mineral quality.

So it's a perfect pairing wine, developing a more intriguing array of flavors against the eggs. Wouldn't drink it without food, though.

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