The Grapevine

Food & Wine Pairing: Not Another Summer-Weekend Cookout

September 2nd, 2016

Maybe it’s raining where you are. Or stiflingly hot. Or maybe, just maybe, you don’t need one more evening of burgers and dogs or ribs and chicken with grandma’s secret sauce. If that describes you this long holiday weekend, we’ve got just the thing for you. [level-members]

From the New York Times cooking section, we have Summer Vegetable Couscous. Hardly your standard Labor Day weekend fare, and yet, perfectly appropriate for this time of year and what you might find at your local farm stand or farmers market.

The most interestesting part of the recipe linked to above is the author’s claim that while couscous packages claim cooking times of 10 minutes or less, “taking the time to steam it further makes it lighter and more digestible.” We’ll have to give that a try.

As for pairings, I really can’t improve on the recommendations that accompany the article this time, so I’m not going to try. Here they are:

For this mellow, herbal, lightly spicy dish, you have several good options. You could choose a vibrant, moderately sweet German riesling: a spätlese, for example, which would be delicious with the couscous. Or you could try a dry sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley, which would go well with the herbal flavors. A good, dry rosé would be flattered by this dish, or if you wanted to try something altogether different, why not a fino sherry? Dry reds, too, would be good choices; perhaps something young with a bit of grip from the Languedoc, or maybe a Bandol, with a few years of age to tame the fierce tannins. If you wanted a regional match, Morocco makes some perfectly decent dry reds and rosés.

Enjoy your long holiday weekend.