This bite-sized spot, from wife-and-husband team Katy Millard and Ksandek Podbielski, opened last summer to instant success. They focus on hyperseasonal ingredients paired with a constantly evolving list of wines from small producers, 30 percent of which are made in Oregon.
Riot Dish: “Our menu changes frequently enough that our regulars have come to expect seeing something new at each visit instead of getting the same thing. Though I have heard requests for some of last summer’s hits like crispy duck wings with Calabrian chile and lime, or the molasses lacquered pork short rib with charred padron pepper succotash, or Charentais melon and cucumber salad. We have a pasta dish on the menu right now—Girella with milk braised pork sugo, crispy sunchokes, and fennel—and I think I might riot when it finally has to come off.”
Q&A with wine director Ksandek Podbielski & chef Katy Millard, Coquine; Portland, OR
by Anna Archibald
Wine Enthusiast: Coquine’s food menu changes often [every six to eight weeks]; how do you keep up on the wine side?
Ksandek Podbielski: The glass menu changes as frequently as the food. I’m looking at the weather, what’s on the menu, trying to find a range of wines that will satisfy most tastes but also complement the food. The bottles are constantly evolving as well.
Is the wine typically inspired by Katy’s dishes or have you ever experienced the opposite?
KP: Both, absolutely. I find it so wonderful that she’s both interested in and quite knowledgeable about wine. We had a dish on our September menu that was very much intended to be served with the Erratica rosé from Antica Terra, this Pinot Noir rosé that’s aged for a year. It’s one we both really love, so we wanted an excuse to pour it for people.
Katy Millard: I think there are actually several dishes we’ve created to go with the Erratica rosé — it’s a pretty magical wine. I think it’s a little easier to make a food go with a wine rather than trying to find the perfect wine to go with a dish when you have to open dozens of bottles to taste.
Are there any unexpected wine and food pairings you’ve found?
KP: We have this amazing pasta dish, a girella with milk-braised pork sugo, crispy sunchokes and fennel. The 2014 Andrea Occhipinti Rosso Arcaico is equal parts Aleatico and Grechetto Rosso and tastes like rosewood and plums and dust. The way it lines up with the sweet milk caramel and the herbaceousness of fennel, it’s this crazy explosion, and the acidity cleans the palate from the richer elements in the dish.
KM: I loved a pét-nat we had last summer with a dessert of peach soda with almond merengue, almond milk sorbet and Gewürztraminer-macerated peaches. The wine, a Clairette de Die from Achard-Vincent, almost tasted like the dessert. It wasn’t like the wine complemented it—it was like the wine was the dessert in a glass.
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