Food and Wine Pairing Tool

Suggested Wine Pairings for over 100 foods.

Food & Wine Pairing Recommendations for Hundreds of Dishes

Napa Valley Chardonnay: Foods to Pair With, and Meals that Call for, Napa Chardonnay

Chardonnay—a chameleon of a grape. There are an especially large number of choices to be made in terms of winemaking when it comes to Chardonnay. It can be still or sparkling. It can be aged in oak or un-oaked, filtered or unfiltered, subject to malolactic fermentation or not. Even the type of oak used, or the decision to keep the wine in contact with dead yeast cells during the winemaking process affects the style of the final product. These factors (not to mention the concept of terroir) result in endless Chardonnay styles that can range from Burgundy’s crisp, austere, mineral-driven wines to Australia’s tropical fruit-packed, viscous style.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Foods to Pair and Meals That Call for Napa Cabernet

Napa Valley Cabernet—the wine that proved to the world it was possible to make world-class wine someplace other than France. When Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon beat famous French Bordeaux such as Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion, among others, in a blind tasting conducted by French wine experts at the now famous 1976 Paris Tasting, the world took notice. Now Napa Valley Cabernets are served everywhere, and producers like Heitz Cellars and Ridge Vineyards are familiar names on restaurant wine lists.

Valentines Day Food & Wine Pairings to Impress Your Date

Knowing how to cook pays off well throughout the year, but biggest win may come on Valentines day. First you get to avoid, expensive, overcrowded restaurants that frankly “dumb down” the food for the night, and second (and perhaps more important) you get the chance “to be excellent” in front of women. Of course the recipes and wines below can just as easily and expertly be prepared by the female cooks out there, but let’s face, it’s the guys that really need to step up on Valentines day. These are a few of my favorites as the food and wines are great, they are easy to prepare, and they are sure to impress. Hope you enjoy them!

Best Wine to Pair with Vodka Sauce

Say “vodka sauce” and I instinctively think “sexy”. But truly, the relatively recent classic dish, normally consisting of a tomato-cream sauce with fresh parmesan blanketing thick, penne pasta, warms me like a comfort food. Because vodka’s subtle flavor is drowned out by the other ingredients in a typical vodka sauce, cooks needn’t worry over what wine to pair with the vodka flavor. The necessary match is really between the wine and the tomato-cream found in most recipes. In fact, foodies often question why vodka sauce exists. Was this mid-eighties invention a fad, gimmick, or simply a vehicle for vodka pushers? Surprisingly, the vodka in the sauce serves a chemical role in creating complex flavors. The tomato is what is called alcohol soluble , meaning some of its flavor compounds are released to the palate only in the presence of alcohol. The best tomato sauces contain some kind of alcohol, whether wine or vodka; otherwise, the mixtures would be missing an appealing component. Vodka is the spirit of choice when wine would impart a more powerful note than desired.

What to Pair with Champagne? Everything!

I know that we’re still several weeks away from New Years Eve, but it’s my favorite holiday of year, where I truly go all out in the kitchen preparing a 5 – 7 course meal along with some close friends and I’m already planning for it. One of those friends, my co-host for the evening, selects and brings wine paired with each course, and over the years our pairings have varied from the most straight-forward to the most eclectic (a wine pairing with a dish based on halloumi cheese?). However, it being New Years Eve, one particular wine is always called for: Champagne (for purposes of this article, let’s call all sparkling wine Champagne). While I’m not actually an ardent lover of Champagnes, and rarely order it out, I do admit to feeling special when I have a glass in hand. It screams out “It’s Celebration Time”, is clearly associated with special events, and gets people as excited as Kramer during Festivus ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus ).

Best Wine to Pair With Spinach Salad

Although the origin of spinach salad is unclear, Germans who settled in Pennsylvania are credited with bringing a similar concoction to the United States. Food expert and humorist Alton Brown claims the original mixture comprised dandelions, bacon drippings, vinegar and hard-cooked eggs. Because dandelions were not necessarily appreciated in this country, they were later replaced with spinach.

Best Wine to Pair With Macaroni and Cheese

My intent for dinner tonight was admirable by any standard: green tea, salad loaded with nutrients and tomato soup. However, upon sitting down to start this piece, I watched a video of Greg Ng from FreezerBurns.com eating and reviewing Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese. I immediately abandoned my plan and reached for my own stand-by Stouffer’s, then cracked a bottle of chardonnay. I pride myself on discipline, and have abstained from dish after dish even while editing mouth-watering, gourmet pairings described by the expert contributors to this column. Macaroni and cheese done me in.

Best Wine to Pair With Beef Ribs...with a Quote and Recipe from Award-Winning Chef, Michael Chiarello

Rumor has it that beef ribs are often overlooked, as pork ribs are what most people visualize when they hear “ribs”. French politician Jean Glavany claims: “Those restaurant chains that are withdrawing beef ribs are . . . participating in this psychosis and should try to avoid it, . . . There is no question of banning beef ribs in our country.” And posts can be seen on American forums begging for good beef rib restaurant recommendations. Evidently, pork prevails in the ribs race.

Best Burgundy Red Wine Worth Seeking Out (for the money)

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best Burgundy red wine worth seeking out (for the price of course): Two words come to mind when I think about Red Burgundy ­– Style and Focus. For those who know, when looking for Pinot Noir that expresses the true uniqueness of terroir and variety, you look at Burgundy. Really good Burgundy, unfortunately, does come at a price.

Best Wine to Pair with Grilled Chicken

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best wine to pair with grilled chicken: Chicken is one of my favorite meats , because it is so versatile. When grilling chicken, the meat and the flavors take on a wholly different profile than if it were boiled or sautéed. Grilling adds a layer of flavor that is deep and broad with a savory spice character that is uncharacteristic for a white meat. For this preparation, we should think about the intense heat that comes along with grilling; the carmelization of the skin; the smokiness. For me, a grilled chicken pairs perfectly with Zinfandel. One really tasty Zin that is perfect for grilled chicken is Ravenswood’s Big River Zinfandel. Rich fruit aromas and soft velvety tannins are followed by a long, lingering finish that ties very nicely in to grilled chicken. At about $25, this wine is a best buy and a perfect choice for any grilled chicken recipe. – Ben Spencer is a diploma student with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and an IntoWine Featured Writer.

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