Food and Wine Paring Tool

Suggested Wine Pairings for over 100 foods.

Food & Wine Pairing Recommendations for Hundreds of Dishes

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.

Best Napa Valley Red Wine Worth Seeking Out (for the money)

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best Napa Valley red wine worth seeking out (for the price of course): Napa Valley has a reputation for a reason. A millennia of earth-moving eruptions and oceanic intrusion (which stripped the valley’s hillsides of deep soils) has helped to develop a particular level of well-deserved glory for the region’s red wine makers. One consistently bold red wine worth seeking out is the Tor Kenward Cimarossa Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon . The profile of the wine is ripe, firm, juicy, with soft tannins. Blueberry, florals, mint, cocoa, and anise, are signatures of this single-vineyard wine. Cimarossa vineyard is on Napa’s This wine can be enjoyed when young, but shows best if aged a minimum of three years. At $60-$80, this cult red soars to the top of many sommelier’s cellar lists for the same reason it comes to my mind. Cimarossa vineyard is one of the more elevated vineyards on Howell Mountain, at over 2,100 ft above sea level. The soils on the mountain are layered with volcanic ash, called ‘ tufa’ , and a high iron content which stresses the vines and produces deeply concentrated fruit, small berries, and intense flavors. In the winery, Tor Kenward uses an extended cold soaking and indigenous yeast fermentation. The wines are aged for almost two years in French oak and bottled un-fined and un-filtered. The resulting wine is heady and bold and wonderful. – Ben Spencer is a diploma student with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and an IntoWine Featured Writer.

Best Wine to Pair with Crab

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best wine to pair with crab: Crab is a succulent shellfish that has an almost sweet flavor profile and a versatility of cooking adaptations. The richness of the meat is what you want to focus on when enjoying crab. And, because crab is not the cheapest seafood around, you want every bite to count. This means the wine should be bright and complementary and crisp – with a palate cleansing acidity. One wine floats right to the top for me, Dry Hungarian Furmint. It’s not always an easy find, some vintages of this beautiful white wine are diverted into the house blend. But when this wine is available, it is worth stocking your cellar shelves. Shröck’s dry version of Furmint showcases a veritable basket of apple and chamomile while retaining a crisp honeydew finish. Like most good things in this world, the rarer it is the more unique the experience. Furmint is grown widely in Hungary for blending with Harselevlu in sweet Tokay. Now Shröck is winning fans over with her rediscovery and promotion of Furmint’s possibilities as a dry white wine. Heidi Shröck took over the family winery 20 years ago after working in wineries in South Africa and Germany. According to one of Shröck’s distributors, “The family motto states that tradition should be honored but also mixed with progress; for it means keeping alive the fire, not adoring the ashes.” When paired with Crab, I’m sure a few more logs will be thrown onto that fire. (About $20) – Ben Spencer is a diploma student with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and an IntoWine Featured Writer.

Pages