Read these 16 Wine and Food Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wines tips and hundreds of other topics.
If all dining companions wish to drink the same kind of wine, but one guest is ordering roast chicken, another is opting for grilled salmon, and a third wants filet mignon, select a pinot noir from California, Oregon or Washington. Pinots from these areas are typically light- to medium-bodied, with light tannins, bright berry flavor and some earthy notes. They can hold their own next to any dish (even a steak, in a pinch,) and they go exceptionally well with duck, salmon and chicken.
"A bottle of red. A bottle of white. Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight?" Quite possibly Mr. Billy Joel but, if you're in the mood for red and in the mood for oysters, are you sure you'll enjoy it? The key to pairing food with wine is to think about the type of food you'll be having and then match it's weight with the wine. For example, if you do want those oysters think about a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity will bring out the brine and creaminess of the oyster. Choosing a red will mask the oyster's taste with the wine's tannins. For the most part think light wines for light food and heavy wines for heavy food.
The crisp peach and apple flavors of a German or American Riesling work wonderfully with baked ham. To bring out the spiciness of any cloves you added before cooking, try a spicy Gewurztraminer from Alsace. Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Eroica Columbia Valley from Washington State and Alsace's Domaine Trimbach Gewurztraminer are both good bets
Ice wine (or icewein) can certainly pair with other foods than desserts. Anything salty, like nuts, olive tapenade, or an antipasto platter with hard cheeses (parmeggiano-reggiano, etc.) and cured meats will go well with an ice wine--the clean, refreshing apple and pear flavors and crisp acidity will cleanse the palate of the saltiness.
Many people enjoy wine with food. And then some pair wine with seasons. More specifically, certain dessert wines are better with certain seasons. Here is some helpful advice when you want to pair dessert wines with one of the four seasons, courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco, author of "Wine for Women." For spring, try a sexy and fun tawny port. A good tawny from Portugal is amber in color and never overly sweet. It captures the essence of honey, nuts and caramel. This makes it perfect for cheeses, nuts, fruit tarts and vanilla ice cream. The longer a tawny ages in the barrel, the richer and more luscious it becomes. For summer, try a fresh and crisp German Riesling. These dessert wines are the epitome of things light and summery. For fall, try Sauternes from France, a taste of honey, spice and sweet fruit combined with a creamy texture. This is great with pungent blue cheese, foie gras and baked apples. For winter, try a vintage port, a fortified dessert drink made by adding a dollop of brandy to the fermenting wine. This wine ages for decades. It's great with brownies and chocolate desserts.
There are about 80 calories in a 4 oz. glass of white zinfandel, so your nightly consumption is about 160 calories. Although it's been shown that red wine contains more antioxidants and other health benefits, they are actually found in ALL wines, so you are doing something good for your body by indulging in moderate wine consumption.
Pinot noir is just made for salmon. Chianti and pinot grigio go perfectly with anything tomato-based (it's no coincidence why Italians drink them with their cuisine), Red Côtes du Rhône pairs beautifully with lamb, stew and other hearty dishes. Off-dry rieslings and gewurztraminers work well with Thai, Indian and Vietnamese foods (the residual sugar in the wine can counter the spices and seasonings in the food.)
New Zealand and South African sauvignon blancs are terrific food wines because of their herby, citrusy quality and great acidity. They work with so many foods for the same reason that squirting a wedge of lemon on your dish does—it “wakes up” your taste buds, makes your mouth water, and compels you to go back and take another bite of your food. Also look for “unoaked chardonnays” from the same areas—they are crisp and refreshing, without the oaky aftertaste that can sometimes overpower your food.
Famous chefs like Dom DeLuise and Rachel Ray toss wine into their recipes with careless ease. But there are some rules of thumb you should know if you intend to mix food and wine on the stove. The first and most important rule of thumb is: cook only with a wine you would drink. Avoid so-called "cooking wine" located in the supermarket near the vinegar. Wine labeled "cooking wine" is a poor quality wine to which salt is added, either to prevent you from drinking it straight or to "help" in seasoning. Chefs say to avoid this wine, even if it means not cooking with wine at all. Here are some wines that are great to cook with: - If a recipe calls for dry white wine, the best all-around choice is a quality American Sauvignon Blanc. This wine will be very dry and offer a fresh light herbal tilt that will enhance nearly any dish. - Zinfandels have a berry or cherry character, which would be a nice background to a fruit sauce for duck. - A buttery Chardonnay is the perfect base for a beurre blanc. - A sweet Vermouth would be a great addition to a fruit dessert that has a hint of herbs in it. - Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Viognier all have dynamic fruity flavors and exotic floral aromas that counterbalance heavily spiced dishes. - If a recipe calls for a dry red wine, consider the heartiness of the dish. A long-simmered leg of lamb or beef roast calls for a correspondingly hearty wine, such as a Petite Syrah or a Zinfandel. A lighter dish might call for a less powerful red -- think Pinot Noir or Chianti. - Get to know Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala. These are among the best wines good cooks can have on hand. They pack the most intense flavors and -- because they're fortified with a little more alcohol than table wine -- have the longest life on the pantry shelf. The more you learn about the characteristics of your favorite wines, the more creative you can be with how you cook with them.
When you settle down to a great meal and a great glass of wine, you might not think about the alcohol level inside the wine you are drinking. But you should. Too high of an alcohol level can leave you sour on both your beverage and your meal. Wine Enthusiast Magazine, an expert in the food wine world, reports that winemakers are dealing with the alcohol "problem," as it has become known, by looking for ways to retain the ripe fruit and smooth tannins that consumers love, while reducing the alcohol to a more food-friendly level of 14 percent (or lower). Experts say the increase in alcohol levels is due to consumer demand for more intense flavors. It's important to remember that it's the balance of the fruit flavors, acid and the pH that makes a wine taste good, not the alcohol level, says Rob Newsom of Boudreaux Cellars, a 2,000-case boutique winery in Washington State. Today, more and more of the wines we drink are hot with palate-fatiguing levels of alcohol that regularly top 15, sometimes 16 and occasionally 17 percent. These high-octane ripe wines are powerful and appealing but are expensive to produce, and are getting more so. which means prices for consumers goes up. If you get a bottle of this potent wine, it's best to drink it right away. That's because once the fruit ages (usually very quickly since it's so ripe to begin with) and the tannins soften, what's left is a lot of alcohol flavor.
Try a California red Zinfandel or French red Côtes du Rhône with your turkey. For white wine lovers, offer a Vouvray from France's Loire Valley. This crisp, food-friendly white is made with the Chenin Blanc grape. Look for Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County, E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône, or Domaine Sauvion Vouvray.
There are health benefits to drinking wine. Research indicates that moderate red wine consumption may help protect against certain cancers and heart disease and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure. There is now perhaps a new benefit to drinking red wine, according to a Spanish study released this year that says red wine gives you fiber. According the study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, red wine may contribute to our recommended daily intake of fiber. So drink your glass a day and feel good about it!
You are hosting a formal dinner party at your home. It is an elegant evening of food and wine. As you put your corkscrew into the bottle, the unthinkable happens. You break the cork. What do you do? Here's what the experts suggest: - Quickly reach for your decanter and funnel. Push the cork into the wine and then pour the wine through the funnel into the decanter, which will eliminate any cork remnants. - If you're feeling confident in attempting it again, simply remove the corkscrew and reinsert into the remaining cork and pull carefully. - Don't sweat it! It happens. What matters is how gracefully and strategically you attack the problem.
While most of us have heard of food allergies some may not realize there are people with wine allergies as well. If you have an allergic reaction to wine, you should find out all the ingredients that are present in the beverage you are reacting to. Here is what may cause you to sneeze, sniffle or break out in hives after that glass of wine, courtesy of allergy.org: 1. The key preservative present in wine is sulphur dioxide (also referred to as 'sulphites'). It is a naturally occurring compound that is found on many growing plants (including grapes) in its natural form. Bear in mind that sulphur dioxide is present in many drinks other than beer and wine, including some fruit juices, along with various dried fruits. 2. Some people react with hives to the yeast present in wine and beer. 3. Histamine is an amine released by the body tissues in allergic reactions, causing irritation. Red wines contain a wider range of histamines than white wines. Histamine is known to worsen asthma and eczema and to cause headaches. If you think your reaction is due to the histamine component of the wine, then you could consider trying fruit wines, as some of these have lower histamine levels than wine made from grapes (depending on the fruit used to produce the wine).
If you're looking to do some reading about food and wine, to learn about the best grapes of the season, get up-to-date wine industry news, and plenty more, you'll want to check out any of the following publications, which have remained the most important wine magazines in the past decade, according to www.winebusiness.com: 1. Quarterly Review of Wines 2. Wine & Spirits 3. Wine Enthusiast 4. Wine News 5. Wine Spectator With the exception of Quarterly Review of Wines, which focuses on prose, all these publications focus on wine ratings. Many newsletters also provide outstanding wine commentary. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, The California Grapevine, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Colorado Wine News, and Ron Wiegand's Restaurant Wine all fall into the wine newsletter category. Among the most important wine trade publications are Practical Winery and Vineyard, Vineyard & Winery Management, Wines & Vines, Wine Business Monthly, Wine Business Insider and Wine Market Report.
Food and wine go hand in hand. Then it should be no surprise that wine has gone organic like many foods. For a finished wine to be organic, it must have been produced from organically grown grapes and have been made without additions of yeasts, fining agents, and the sulfites that protect against spoilage. Since most commercial wineries won't take the risk of putting potentially spoiled wines on the market, there are very few purely organic wines. However, there are many producers worldwide who grow grapes with chemical-free, organic methods, including:
-M. Chapoutier and Chateau de Beaucastel from the Rhone, Bonterra and Fetzer Vineyards,
-Wellington Vineyards, Robert Sinskey, Marimar Torres, and Frog's Leap wineries in California,
-Sokol Blosser from Oregon and,
-New Zealand's Seresin Estate.
So check out these producers if you are seeking organic wines.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|