Wine and Kimchi
When it comes to drinking with dinner in Koreatown, it is always the requisite bottles of Hite and soju that compete for table space with panchan.
But when a sommelier from a venerable Italian restaurant revamps the wine list for a Korean BBQ spot, as Mozza's Adam Vourvoulis has done for Park's BBQ, it's time to reconsider your beverages of choice.
You could order a red to drink with your galbi--anything from a Cabernet Franc ($29) to an Opus One ($250). But before you order, consider the kimchi: Its flavors of spice and fermentation pair much better with whites, especially highly acidic wines such as Riesling and Grüner Veltliner--two grapes Park's new list has in spades.
In fact, Vourvoulis is so enamored with Riesling and Korean barbecue that he lists the grape separately from other white grapes. It was there that we found a bottle from Josef Leitz ($27) that had just the right minerality and tang to cut through both the intensity of the kimchi and the richness of a rib eye or galbi.
We also enjoyed the greener, apple-inflected Hirsch Grüner Veltliner ($31), a wine that plays its own tricks of acidity on the assertive flavors of the various panchan and grilled meats.
Park's BBQ, 955 S. Vermont Ave., Koreatown; 213-380-1717 or parksbbq.com
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