never cook with a wine wouldn't drink

Chef Anders Bengtsson

Not too long ago, Chef Anders Bengtsson was in a place far away from the culinary world. As CEO of a software company (, he certainly enjoyed cooking - but didn't consider making it a career until a few years ago. But when he did, he went all in. He immediately enrolled in Culinary School and began experimenting with food & flavor whenever he could. He made his own breads and vinegars, cured his own meats, experimented with cheese-making, invested in professional grade equipment for his personal use and even started making his own wine!

A quote from his first blog post sums up his decision pretty well: "My passion in food has lead be down the path of making everything from scratch and respecting the ingredients. I truly value the reward in transforming a pork shoulder to delicious earthy salami, left over duck bones to a flavorful stock or turn flour and water into beautifully smelling hearth baked bread with help of a sourdough starter."

We were interested to hear Chef Anders' opinion of our wines and the potential recipe possibilities for each blend. Here are some notes from our discussion.

Blend #1:
"You get the oak right away - as well as a bit of the cherry flavors. I could see this with salmon - especially on the barbecue. I don't do a lot of marinades with wine...I use it more in sauces, cooking and braises or as a component. Although I think I might end up drinking more of this wine than I end up cooking with it!"

Blend #2:
"Lots of that traditional Sauvignon Blanc grassiness and a nice sweetness as well. It's very good. Nice citrus notes with Meyer lemon qualities, too - drinks nicely. The acidity is nice...this would be nice in a beurre blanc sauce. You always want the acidity to be in balance, which you can do with wine like this, vinegar or citrus. Steamed muscles would also be nice."

Blend #3:
"I definitely get the strawberry jam qualities. Very ripe qualities too; pretty aftertaste...Not raisiny, but in that direction. I could see using this as a nice general braising wine with beef, pork and lamb. I look for a wine that has nice qualities that will carry through when reduced. I like a bit of body and fruit to the wine. I don't want a wine to be an austere because it's important that some of the qualities come through in the final dish."

Blend #4:
"Lots of nice stone-fruit qualities. Feels like more residual sugar, but it could just be the fruitiness coming through nicely. This is a nice wine; very floral. I have a hard time saying that this or that will go good with something in generalizations. But I think this would be nice in something like an osso bucco (an Italian braised veal shank dish)...especially with a bit of orange peel in the finish."

More about Anders Bengtsson:

You can learn more about Chef Anders at his website, You can reach him at or 415-810-1249.

About the ACADÉMIE Feedback Project:

ACADÉMIE wine blends are a work in progress. We are constantly improving, refining and tweaking our profiles. There is nothing we love more than feedback on how to improve our product. Because we source wines directly from other wineries, we are able to introduce wines with qualities that will highlight and emphasize certain flavors in your cooking. The result is a blend that helps you achieve flavor perfection.

An important part of this process is to solicit feedback. Everyone in the world of flavors has an opinion about what works and what doesn't. We believe it's important to get as many different perspectives as we can.

This article is one of a series of articles showcasing the opinions and feedback from people involved in creating great flavors.