I love a refreshing rosé poolside in the summer, bubbly for a celebration, and with all of the great BYOB restaurants around, we'll often pick up my go to - Sauvignon Blanc; but a wine expert I am not. Earlier this year my favorite host, Clinton Kelly on The Chew, did a really simple tutorial on selecting and pairing wine with food, and I thought it was really helpful. So for something different today, rather than share a cocktail, I'm going to share with you a few of the tips I took away from that segment on The Chew.
I want to be clear that this is a very basic look at wine, and it only just touches on how to pair different varieties with food. For anything more sophisticated than this I would totally want an expert to take over the explanation!
Let's get started: contrasting and mirroring are two ways to pair wine with food. Contrasting involves choosing foods with the opposite flavor of the wine to emphasize the flavor of each, while mirroring involves pairing the wine with food that goes well with the flavor. Whichever you choose to do is perfectly fine, it's all about what you think tastes best. Today though, we're just going to focus on the concept of mirroring which applies to both white and red wine.
Today we'll go through the whites with Light, Medium, and Bold categories, taking note, that for both red and white wines, as the color darkens, the flavor intensifies for a bolder flavored wine
So for today let's take a look at the whites:
For the light category, we've chosen a Pinot Grigio. For this particular one, you'll smell notes of dried lime rinds, pear blossoms, and tastes hints of honeysuckle and ripe pear and is a tad sweet. In mirroring the flavors, this would be perfect with a great fall salad of baby greens, with apple or pear, and candied nuts mimicking the sweetness of the honeysuckle.
In the medium category we have a Sauvignon Blanc that has characteristics that are green, flinty, and mineral. It also has flavor notes of lemongrass and grapefruit. This medium bodied wine would pair nicely with a cheese board, especially with a Humbolt Fog goat cheese with it's ribbon of vegetable ash. Or completely different pairing, but equally delicious, would be a thai curry.
We chose a Viognier for the bold category. With an aroma like prosciutto and melon, a soft texture, and attractive floral and ripe peach flavors, this wine would be great with a chicken saltimbocca, highlighting similar flavors but nice and crisp to cut through the fattiness of the prosciutto.
Next week we will go through red wine, and then you will be armed with basic pairing knowledge the next time you're sent to the store to pick up wine for dinner.
One important point to leave you with...no matter what the recommendations suggest, the most important thing, is to drink what you like!
Till next week, cheers!