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White wine to elevate buffalo shrimp sandwich?

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With twin 5 yr-olds my husband and I often make date night a challenge to cook at home and best each other at picking a wine to match the meal. Next weekend we're taking it casual with a buffalo shrimp sandwich that includes blue cheese crumbles and avocado ranch dressing on grilled bread. I'm in charge of a white wine and he has to bring a red. Research shows rieslings as the front runner, but can anyone suggest a particular label, or even another varietal and label? Many thanks!

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  1. What a brilliant question...

    IMO you are well on your way to quite a discovery here. Since you want to experiment a bit here's what I'd recommend:

    1: first off, your single-best match for this is riesling given it's affinity for chicken, buffalo style cooking, and avocado. Kabinett ripeness is about right. As for exact labels, go to your favorite wine shop and ask for a 2009 or 2011 Mosel kabinett. Otherwise a rheingau from same years.

    The experiment I'd recommend is to try this sandwich two ways: A) with blue cheese as you plan but also B) with emmental cheese. Emmental is "the" chese pairing with riesling so that will make for an interesting experiment.

    2) As for other varietals, IMO the obvious choice is gewurztraminer... try it as above, only trying an alt sandwich using gruyere cheese, the perfect match for gewurztraminer.

    That would be a total of 4 sandwich tastings, changing only the cheese component: a blue cheese and emmental for riesling, and a blue cheese and gruyere for gewurztraminer. You are sure to find one or more to be highly "elevated" pairings.

    1. Just noticed that your husband is bringing a red wine.... sort of stumped there as this is definitely a white wine dish IMO.

      Some reds go really well with blue cheese so maybe that's your starting point. I'm thinking zinfandel is worth a try as it's a good match with roquefort and sometimes works with spicy or BBQ dishes. If you can BBQ smoke the chicken a bit first, and/or marinade it in some red-friendly spices including peppercorns, garlic and rosemary that would be a plus too.

      In reds beaujolais might also work with the spicy chicken, I've never paired it with blue cheese so not sure about that connection.