The tasting bar inside The Pairing was never meant to be a standard bar, says co-owner Slimm Adkins.
“Originally, the concept was when winemakers and suppliers and reps are in town, we would have a place for them to do for-mal tastings with our customers,” he says.
The Pairing opened in the Crossroads just before the pandemic hit and winemakers stopped visiting. Adkins and his staff pivoted, extending the hours and building out a menu.
Among the additions: Rodriguez’s hummus trio, which is heavy on flavor and light in texture—perfect with a bite of cucumber or cracker. The pale and lightly spiced Szechuan has a chickpea base and is made with toasted Szechuan peppercorns and chili flake, charred green onions and garlic and a fermented bean paste. There’s an edamame-based wasabi hummus boasting white miso and ground shiitake mushroom and bursting with umami. And my favorite: a lovely Thai red curry hummus built from chickpeas with fresh garlic, ginger, lime juice, coconut milk and tahini. Find this hummus trio at the bar, or take some home with you from the shop’s grocery section.