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Polenta with chicken sausage and hearty sauce

Cooks forget how acidic tomatoes are and, consequently, how only certain wines successfully pair with them at table, notably wines that are also zingy with acidity. Many white wines fill that bill; however, tangy reds are more difficult to find. Yet, with a hearty dish such as this one, a red is what you’ll want. Perhaps this explains the ubiquity of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo vines in Italy, a country that knows a lot about both tomatoes and red wine—and how they taste together. Sangiovese- and Nebbiolo-based red wines always sport zesty acidity, along with lots of red fruit character and [...]

By | 2019-12-11T14:44:39+00:00 December 11th, 2019|

Corn and Sweet Onion Leftover Turkey Hash

The best thing about leftovers is their added flavor—the way sitting around a day or two in the refrigerator augments whatever tasties were there to begin with. The worst thing about leftovers is that, even so, they can feel tired. Wine to the rescue. Think of wine—in this case, the perfect Thanksgiving Day dinner wine, Beaujolais (even leftover Beaujolais!)—as a perky condiment: zesty, crisp of acidity, even chillable. It was one of the wines that went with everything on that groaning sideboard on Turkey Day itself; it's the wine that goes with all its leftovers.HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED:• 1 small sweet [...]

By | 2019-12-10T00:46:21+00:00 December 10th, 2019|

Niceland Ocean Perch Tacos

To paraphrase St. Paul, in wine there are acid, sweet, tannin, and alcohol, but the greatest of these is acid. Acidity — that tangy, zesty close to a sip of wine, that which sweeps the palate clean — is crucially important to delicious, successful wine and food pairings. It balances wine against any correlative acidity in the food prepared, as here, with its cider vinegar. The two acidities, interestingly, cancel each other out and a taste of both together is refreshing and cleansing, not tart or sour.   HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:• 1 bag (16 ounces) pre-shredded cabbage and carrots• 1/2 red onion, thinly [...]

By | 2019-12-10T00:43:36+00:00 December 10th, 2019|

Leftover sweet potato pancake with sage cream

When the California Turkey Board (no jokes, please) asked several United States wineries what wine went best with traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, the suggestions went on and on. Pinot noir, said one winery; it's rich and full like the meal itself. Chardonnay, said another; it matches the dinner's complexity. The final tote stood at nine different wines: four whites, two dry pinks, three reds — and one turkey. Perhaps the best choice is not one wine but many. Why not try an assortment of wines for your upcoming Thanksgiving Day dinner? And the same holds for drinking with the leftovers [...]

By | 2019-11-22T19:53:43+00:00 November 22nd, 2019|

What is bio-dynamic wine?

The term ‘bio-dynamic’ is used to describe an approach to farming that is ethical, holistic and ecological, and it applies not only to planting and harvesting wine, but it is also a practice put forth by farmers of all types of agriculture. It is a relationship that is shared with the land, the product, and the myriad of organisms living in the farm. In many ways, it is considered the first take on modern organic agriculture.  Furthermore, ‘bio-dynamic’ is a trademarked term that can encompass a vast assortment of different practices and methods. These methods can range from consulting the [...]

By | 2019-11-19T15:24:29+00:00 November 19th, 2019|

Mini Turkey Burgers

The only element in this recipe worth any wine worry is fat, in the olive oil and whatever fat there is in the ground turkey. Fat carries flavor, but italso can be a barrier to other flavors getting through. A little tannin in a red wine would help mollify that. Keep in mind that the red wine world isn't all about heft and high alcohol. Buy the more humble and unassuming reds from the places where folk appreciate good food, such as Grenache from the Rhône; or Pinots from Burgundy, Oregon or New Zealand; or Sangiovese from Italy. And that's [...]

By | 2019-11-19T15:21:21+00:00 November 19th, 2019|

Saucy curried chicken

Nothing in this preparation puts up any blockades to wine enjoyment; noacidic vinaigrette, for example, to "sour" up a wine, or too much salt or sugar to war with whatever wine. A niche red such as a high-octane California Zinfandel wouldn’t do, nor would anything at the other end of the shelf, either, a watered-down Pinot Grigio, for instance. What would be nicewould be an array of fragrant wines, their perfumes as potent out of the glass as this recipe’s curry and peppers. Just be sure that they also sport good, cleansing acidity.   HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:• 1 1/2 cups small-form [...]

By | 2019-11-07T20:52:15+00:00 November 7th, 2019|

Arctic Charr “en papillote”

Charr is particularly suitable for a "papillote" preparation, a little piscinepackage of parchment paper roasted a few minutes, then opened at eachplate for both heady steam and tasty treat. Even more tasties come by way of a wine selection that is close to being all-encompassing: a dry crisp white; a sparkling pink; and a medium-bodied, lean red. Charr is the kind of fish — rich, succulent, unctuous, flavors on all fours — that appeals to nearly any kind of wine, as long as that wine has a good backbone of acidity and freshness. These three do.   HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:• 1 large [...]

By | 2019-10-30T14:44:12+00:00 October 30th, 2019|

Niceland Ocean Perch Tacos

To paraphrase St. Paul, in wine there are acid, sweet, tannin, and alcohol,but the greatest of these is acid. Acidity — that tangy, zesty close to a sip of wine, that which sweeps the palate clean — is crucially important to delicious, successful wine and food pairings. It balances wine against any correlative acidity in the food prepared, as here, with its cider vinegar. The two acidities, interestingly, cancel each other out and a taste of both together is refreshing and cleansing, not tart or sour.  HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:• 1 bag (16 ounces) pre-shredded cabbage and carrots• 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced• 1/2 [...]

By | 2019-10-30T14:41:10+00:00 October 30th, 2019|

Zucchini “Fettuccine” with Lamb Burgers

Let’s pretend, to "noodle" the recipe a bit (ba-dum-tsssshhh), that this is afull-on Mediterranean preparation, for wines from that region would well accompany it. By and large, the reds of Italy, Portugal, and southern France sport a bit more acidity and more cleansing tannins than their New World offspring, perfect for taming the oils from the citrus and the olive oil, as well as the fats from the meat and dairy in this recipe. Plus, with all their vowels, they sound nice with the words "zucchini" and "fettucine."   HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:• 4 lamb burger patties• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil• 2 cloves garlic, [...]

By | 2019-10-01T21:39:00+00:00 October 1st, 2019|