The Grapevine

Food and Wine Pairing: And Now For Something Completely Different

March 17th, 2017

We’ve spent plenty of time offering oddball pairing ideas for the fun of it – the best wine for various kinds of cake, the best wine and Halloween candy pairings, and son on – but there is a more serious way to “break” the usual food and wine pairing rules without resorting to, well, marshmallow peeps. [level-members]

First, let’s be clear that when we talk about the usual rules of food and wine pairings, we’re definitely not talking about rules of the, “red with meat, white with fish” variety. Hopefully, we’re all waaaaay beyond that. What we’re talking about are the rules more along the lines of, “what grows together goes together.”

Rather than offer a recipe and wine suggestion this week, we’ll encourage you to think of recommendations you can make to your customers this weekend that turn some of that thinking on its head. For example, Fettuccine Alfredo screams for an Italian wine that can stand up to the heavy creaminess of the Alfredo sauce. What about a crisp, bright wine like a Sauvignon Blanc? Much different than most Italian whites, but in a way that actually complements the dish.

Another favorite you can turn on its ear is pairing big American reds with that most American of meals, the grilled burger. Choices here will depend on how you prep your burger and what you top it with, but you could do worse than trying a big, bold Bordeaux instead of the usual California Cab.

And, of course, anything fried frequently pushes even the most dedicated wine drinker to the beer aisle. Champagne and other sparklers are the answer to that.

I’m sure you have other favorites you can tweak just a bit. You’ll not only have some interesting pairing ideas, but you may just help some of your customers break out of a wine rut – which is always good news for you and for them. [/level-members]