Food and Wine Pairing with Michael Mina

Michael Mina  moved from Egypt at the age of 2 to Ellensburg, Washington. He is returning to Washington state to open his 23rd restaurant, RN74 Seattle.

He started cooking at an Ellensburg restaurant at the age of 15.  After watching Robin LeeAt age of 16 he decided he would become a cook, his dad insisted on some college time and a year of work before Michael went to CIA at Hyde Park.


Design, plateware, wine, magical evening for your guests. The goal is not to have just great food but to give a great experience.Food and Wine Pairing

90% of the resaturant customers have a bottle of wine on the table.

RN74 focuses on Burgandy and Pinot Noir

Mood is an important aspect of the food and wine pairing, as important off the base and bridge ingredients.

Bold food requires balanc: acid, sugar, spice and fat to keep the intensity  without overwhelming. You can be bolder with appetizers because it is just a few bites.  A great chef can keep the balance going through the last bite of an entree.

Raw Hamachi with orange and olive (served in the cup)

Fresh and light orange is giving acid and sweetness, minimal fat. Olives bring the salt and phenol. The olive makes this go best with a fino sherry but without the olive, the riesling shines. Cab Franc also goes with a olivey bite. When the audience was polled they felt the best pairing was the 2009 Owen Roe “DuBrul Vineyard” Riesling.

Smoked Salmon Rillette

Fat and acid are the primary elements to consider when pairing this dish. Smoke and daikon are flavor elements that impact the pairing. The light and fresh style of the Chardonnay is Ria’s pick. James felt like we needed a sweeter wine to pair with thesweetness of the  daikon like a Gewurtztraminer. Bruce was liking for the Cab Franc as the best red pairing but he admits to just plain loving the Chinook Cab Franc. The Woodward Canon Chardonnay was the audience favorite.

Pork terrine

Fatty and marbled terrine is balanced with pickled vegetables, the spicy mustard and a bit of sweetness in the brine. Minus the mustard, the Cab Franc was an intriguing pairing but the mustard and Cab Franc did not play well together. Oak was difficult to pair with this dish, it needed a wine that predominantly fruit and acid. 2009 Owen Roe “DuBrul Vineyard” Riesling was hugely popular but for the small group that weren’t riesling fans, they preferred the 2009 Buty “Peter Canlis Cuvée” Syrah,  to pair with this fatty terrine. There are some stems to give it a big tannic structure but also really benefits from the fattiness to soften the tannins.

Beef on Creamed Spinach Custard w/ caramelized onion marmalade and potato chip

This dish is adding layers of complexity to the traditional meat, potato and spinach. All the red wines have enough tannins to match this dish. 2009 Buty “Peter Canlis Cuvée” Syrah is a favorite pairing on the panel with the Andrew Will coming in a close second. It is second place due to the heat of the alcohol content can distract.

The audience picked   for Bellagio, Canlis and the new RN75

5 liked the Woodwrd Canyon was the best

8 liked the Cab Franc

30 liked the Buty

16 liked the Andrew willl



Bruce Schoenfeld (Travel & Leisure Magazine)Panelists:
Nelson Daquip (Canlis Restaurant)
Michael Mina (The Mina Group)
Raj Parr (The Mina Group)
Jason Smith MS (The Bellagio Resort)

2009 Owen Roe “DuBrul Vineyard” Riesling, YV $24
2009 Stevens Winery “Another Thought” Sauvignon Blanc, RM $19
2009 Woodward Canyon Winery Chardonnay, WA $44
2009 Chinook Wines Cabernet Franc, YV $22
2009 Buty “Peter Canlis Cuvée” Syrah, WWV $125
2008 Andrew Will Winery “Ciel du Cheval” Blend, RM $56

Leave a Reply