Pairing Wine with Food – My Winespill
Pairing wine with food; people want to know what wine goes with the food they eat. It takes repeat wine pairings to get the hang of it but if you have the knowledge to start testing you’ll soon be the one your friends ask what wine to buy.
Try the reverse, instead of pairing wine with food start with the wine and pair the right food to go with your chosen wine.
Bold and Dry Whites
- Chardonnay (SHAR-doe-nay)
- Sémillon (sey-mee-yawn)
- Viognier (VEE-0wn-yay) Southern France
- White Rioja
Pairing wine with food
If you like a dry white wine start your night with a charcuterie board of almonds, Monterrey Jack, Havarti, and Gouda cheeses with slices of apple arranged in fan shaped patterns. Along side your charcuterie board have a tray of baguette slices with baked pesto topping.
As a main dish Chardonnay pairing, the protein pairing, you won’t go wrong if you choose smoked pork, grilled chicken, trout, halibut, or my favorite a sea bass. You can add mushrooms, rosemary, tarragon or basil as your seasoning. A nice cream sauce with mushrooms is another good accompaniment to Chardonnay or add that leftover pesto from your baked baguette.
A dessert accompaniment with a dry white wine could a simple vanilla pudding or a rich banana bread. I have a family favorite recipe for banana bread you can try.
Light and Zesty Whites
Crisp, bright, fresh are some of the terms commonly used to describe these light-bodied wines, driven by lively fruit flavors and vibrant acidity. This category of crisp, refreshing and lighter-bodied whites is thriving in regions around the world.
- Albariño (ahl-bah-REE-nyoh) Northwest Spain
- Aligote (al-i-GOH-tey) Burgundy, France
- Assyrtiko (A-seer-TEE-ko) Santorini, Greece
- Chablis (SHAB-lee) Northern Central France
- Chenin Blanc (shen-in-blonk) Loire Valley France
- Cortese (kohr-TAY-zee) Italy
- Gargenega (gahr-GAH-neh-gah) Northern Italy, used to make Soave and Gambellara in Veneto
- Grenache Blanc (gruh-NAHSH blonk) Northeast Spain, Rhône blends
- Muscadet / Melon de Bourgogne (MUHS-kuh-dey / mel-LOH day boor-gawn-yuh) Atlantic coast of Brittany
- Piquepoul (PEEK-pool) Languedoc-Roussillon region of France
- Pinot Blanc (PEE-no blonk) Alsace region of France
- Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio (PEE-no gree) Burgundy France
- Verdejo (vurr-DAY-ho) Spain
- Verdicchio (vair-dee-KEE-yo) Marche of Italy
- Xarel-lo (chair-RELL-lo) Catalonia, Spain
Pairing wine with food
If you are drinking one of these lighter white wines, you will want to design your charcuterie board with a log of herbed goat cheese. Low in fat, it clocks in as a lighter alternative to most heavier cheeses. This leaves room for some mozzarella, havarti and Brie cheeses. Garnish with pine nuts, almonds, citrus slices and melon balls.
For your main meal, as you would expect to go with the lighter flavors, try salmon, ceviche, crab cakes, sushi, shrimp, chicken, trout, veal or veggie burgers. Gently bruise the leaves of basil or rosemary with your fingers before dropping them in to a light butter sauce, olive oil, or light cream sauce to release more oils and increase flavor. Adding herbs at the beginning of your cooking will create a subtle background note.
Serve with sides of broccoli, asparagus, mixed greens and vinaigrette or a split pea soup. Finish with a citrus or pear tart.