By definition, aside from the homeless connotation my Mac’s dictionary adds, I’m pretty much a "Wino". Not an alcoholic by any means but definitely a connoisseur of cheap wines. Charles Shaw is one of my best friends and I readily drink his Cabernet with just about anything that crosses my plate.
But with age comes wisdom and dinner parties, BBQs and general summer time entertaining, where nine bottles of red mayyybe isn’t the best choice.
Pairing wines may be a foreign practice to some of us but it doesn’t mean it’s not easy! If you’re a beginner such as myself, it’s best to start with the kind of wine you want to drink and go from there. It’s great because it is mostly color coordinated for us amateurs! Is it an earthy Chardonnay? It’s best to stick with poultry and butter creams. Maybe you prefer a robust Syrah? Stay with grilled or braised red meats. Your favorite, light Riesling? Whip up some steamed veggies and lemon sauteed fish.
You can also use different vegetables in sauces to imitate the taste of your wine- mushrooms for Pinot Noirs, herb and mint for Cabernet and Merlot, and dark berries for Shiraz.
Or once you get the hang of it, you can even go for contrast in your food and wine pairings. Sometimes a nice acidic taste can really balance a very buttery sauce or a oaky wine can bring out the most of a sweet dish.
Here are some great summertime get together recipe ideas for your favorite wines!
Take your BBQ to the next level with these burgers and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon!
Feel like doing something spicy to turn up the heat this season? Plan a Cajun night and pair it with your favorite Riesling!
Freshen up a balmy summer night with a chilled Chardonnay and this salad entree!
Add some class to this tailgating classic with a Zinfandel!
What’s great about Sauvignon Blanc is it really goes great with almost any type of food but here’s a great and easy staple that’s sure to please the attendees.
Another great, versatile wine is the Pinot Noir! Pair it with a delicious vegetarian friendly Portobello dish! This is a personal favorite because it is SO EASY! I actually prefer to take these ‘shrooms and throw them between some buns of some excellent veggie friendly burgs!