The downtown tasting room of LXV Wines is alone worth a visit for its East India–chic decor and gracious staff, but the spices co-owner Neeta Mittal pairs with the wines she and her husband, Kunal, produce elevate the LXV Wine Lounge experience even further.
Small cubes of sheep’s cheese are lightly dusted with spices that vary depending on the wine—black truffle salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and Himalayan pink salt with the Lover’s Spell Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance, and lavender, marjoram, savory and Himalayan pink salt with the Heart Note Rosé of Sangiovese. The informative hosts, sometimes Neeta herself, explain why understanding a dish’s spicing is as important to pairing a wine with it as knowing what its main protein is.
The Mittals favor an Old World style of winemaking that emphasizes flavor but focuses on its subtler aspects as opposed to merely amplifying fruitiness. Their wines, gently crafted by Jeff Strekas, the associate winemaker at Onx wines in southern Paso’s Tin City boutique winery complex, have received notice from sommeliers for their food-friendly qualities, but even on their own come across as simultaneously complex, delicate and delicious.
Why go: spice pairings; stylish downtown Paso tasting room; gracious staff; Old World winemaking approach
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