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Aug 10, 2012 07:32 AM

Your Essential Food/Wine Pairings

I don't regularly drink wine with my meals, but there are certain entrees that simply cry out for vino, and I inevitably answer the cry. They are as follows:

Pasta with red sauce/pizza--I like a cheap, rough-edged red with these dishes. Preferably gulped from a Mason jar.

Indian food--I have yet to encounter an Indian entree that is not enhanced by a cool, unoaked chardonnay. The slight acidity and sweetness cuts through the creaminess of many of these dishes, and the coolness soothes a palate that, in my case, is bound to be in flames.

Egg dishes--Souffles, quiches, frittatas, scrambled eggs, all of them must be accompanied by white wine. Any grape, save muscat, will do.

Steak--This one is the most essential of all. I simply must have a bottle of zinfandel to go along with my steak. Nothing else will suffice, I'm afraid.

But enough about me. What foods must you accompany with wine?

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  1. What do you got?

    All the general encouragement of Gewurtztraminer or Riesling with Chinese foods aside, I tend to not drink wine with Chinese cuisine.

    I tend to far prefer beer with saucy BBQ und pork mit kraut.

    Other than that, I find wine is the best accompaniment to most foods.

    I am not strict in my pairings, there's plenty of different wines I would have with steak for example.

    In the wine section someone noted they were going to have both a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc with a certain dish which I no longer remeber. A response said they would not drink the SB with the dish. I could see no reason to not have the SB, albeit the Chardonnay probably would have been the better pairing. I could not see that the food would ruin the wine or vice versa.

    1. I totally agree any beef, (other than hamburg which calls for a beer), you need to have wine. For me either a cabernet or zinfandel but the other night a nice malbec worked with a wood grilled pepper crusted tenderloin.

      Having pasta with red sauce and not having a glass of red wine is sacrilige in our house but in reality several of my non-red sauce pasta's call for wine and once it is open the chardonnay or sauvignon blanc is finished with dinner.

      Of course, any dish I cook, or deglaze, with wine (lemon chicken with Sauv Blanc - cog au vin with cotes du rhone) we "must" finish the remaining wine with the meal.

      1. For me, the absolute ultimate food and "wine" pairings are:

        The Green House, Mayfair, London, and Apple-infused Foie Gras w/ Canadian Late Harvest Apple Cider (not wine, per se).

        Most Bleu Cheeses and Sauternes.

        Now, I have wine with most meals, after breakfast, and even sometimes AT breakfast, and food/wine pairings are something that I work very hard at. I have many, many great pairings, but the two above are MY ultimate pairings.

        US Pinot Noirs with Pacific salmon. Many Pinot Noirs (US and FR) with mushrooms, including risotto. Grilled steak with CalCabs, Zins and many Bdx. blends. Montrachets with lobster. Champagnes with lobster. A great Chardonnay with corn chowder.A great Syrah with lamb. There are too many to mention, at least for me.


        4 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          'd like to try a good Italian primitivo--the ancestor of zinfandel--with a steak, but they are scarce in my neck of the woods.

          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            iirc primitivo was grown in Puglia after Zins were cultivated in CA. Vaguely remember genetic studies that indicate that the ancestor was from somewhere in the Balkans, perhaps Croatia.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                I had come across it in one of the more general scientific journals that I follow. These are a bit more authoritative than wikipedia, but some of these journal articles are behind pay walls:

                A press release without the nitty gritty genetics:

        2. I've discovered that I really love drinking Cremant d'Alsace with steamed lobster.

          1. Oysters and chablis
            Dark chocolate and banyuls
            Foie and sauternes

            The first month Babbo opened, here in NYC, Joe Bastianich was walking around with a big chunk of parmagiano reggiano from a freshly cracked wheel, sharing it with guests. He suggested we pair it with a Maculan Torcolato. I often ask for a chunk of parmagiano whenever I see that wine on the menu. It is a Proustian moment for me.

            11 Replies
            1. re: thegforceny

              Pork rinds and Riunite are a Ron White moment for me.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                PK -- Quite vivid to imagine, and funny!

                1. re: Tripeler

                  Of course, with Pork Rinds I usually imagine a good, heavy and hoppy beer.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    And a good, Looziana-style hot sauce. My dear ol' Uncle Clarence taught me that combo whan I was a li'l spark back about '72.

                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Now with pork rinds, I normally think of either a Central Coast (California, US) Pinot Noir, or perhaps a Syrah.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Well, well, well. I honestly never dreamt to pair rinds and wines.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      Of course, it depends on the pork rinds, but PN (depending on the region of origin) often has a "pork" flavor. Some Syrahs can exhibit similar.


                  2. re: Perilagu Khan

                    Pork rinds and Riunite???? No way. Clearly, you have no class......

                    It's Cheeto's and Blue Nun. :)

                    Seriously, this entire year I have been stepping "outside the box" on pairings and I have discovered a new world. I like Thomas Kellers attitude when he says he likes red wine and he likes fish...why not have them together? It can be a bit tricky, but well worth the effort. If it doesn't work well the first time....try, try again...hic :)

                    1. re: sedimental

                      If you drink Blue Nun with yeller Cheetos does it turn your tongue green?

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Well, it might turn the crumbs on one's lips colors, but as I have never tried it, I cannot testify.


                      2. re: sedimental

                        I like red wines too (also like white and Rosé wines, as well), and often will choose a PN, or maybe a Syrah, with my fish. Much depends on the prep.