FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Premium wines and glasses line the shelf over the bar at VINO, site of a benefit event for the Lupus Foundation.
Bread-wine duets will star in benefit
Master sommelier Chuck Furuya is experimenting with innovative food and wine pairings again -- and you're invited.
'Let's Taste Wine'
When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday
Place: Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas & VINO, at Restaurant Row
Cost: $100, party to benefit the Hawaii Lupus Foundation
Call: 538-1522, or visit www.lupushawaii.org
"Let's Taste Wine" features some of Furuya's favorite wineries and chefs, including Chris Miura of the Mauna Kea Baking Co.
Inspired by a friend who died from lupus-related causes, Furuya has chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Hawaii Lupus Foundation. To Furuya, raising money for charity is an ideal reason to push the culinary envelope.
"I want to challenge chefs to keep progressing; we try to do things to provoke thought," said Furuya. But, he added, "the focus is on the wineries."
Unlike a formal sit-down event with explanations about each wine, "you can taste and eat at your own pace," he said. And movement will be important. "When you have this many great wineries coming, it would be a shame not to capitalize on their passion and knowledge."
Chris Miura, who recently opened Mauna Kea Baking Co., will be a special addition to the live-action food stations. To create his breads, he uses a slow-fermentation "Old World technique." His specialties include artisan, sourdough, Italian ciabatta and focaccia, as well as lavosh.
While other high-quality breads imported from the mainland are frozen and reheated, Miura's bread is baked fresh daily in Kalihi and delivered to most Foodland stores.
"The consumer should be able to tell just on taste alone," said Miura, also an OB/GYN surgeon at Kaiser who graduated from the University of Hawaii and UH's John A. Burns School of Medicine. "The flavor should be more powerful."
Bread and wine are "two products of fermentation," but he credits Furuya with the idea of pairing them in an event setting. There is an art to "matching the acidity of sourdough with a particular type of wine," said Miura.
For instance, Furuya paired the walnut raisin bread with a German Riesling; a pinot noir worked best with the olive oil and rosemary focaccia.
Because of their distinct flavors, the breads are best eaten plain. Dipping in a mixture of olive oil and vinegar can be problematic during wine tastings, said Miura. While the olive oil is neutral, "vinegar will actually clash with wine."
Furuya usually tells Miura what kinds of seasonings he's looking for, and Miura will adjust his recipes accordingly. "Usually, Chuck makes the final pairing," said Miura. The breads they've chosen for Wednesday night are parmesan black pepper sourdough, walnut raisin sourdough and roasted garlic.
Furuya hopes to give Hawaii chefs an opportunity to network with winemakers, and "provide a learning venue for everyone." After all, he said, "there's a whole world of wines out there. Why limit yourself?"
» Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat
» Steve Clifton of Brewer Clifton & Palmina
» Mike Kuimelis of Mantra
» Gary Burk of Costa de Oro
» Jason Drew of Drew Family Cellars
» Alan Peirson of L'Angevin
Joining Chris Miura of Mauna Kea Baking Co.:
» Hiroshi Fukui, Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas
» Ivan Pahk, Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Kapalua
» Eric Arbogast, Sansei, Kihei
» Bert Balbas, Sansei, Waikiki
» Keith Endo, VINO, Kapalua
» Jason Manibog, VINO, Restaurant Row
» Danny Morioka and Jason Miyasaki, d.k Steakhouse