Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Wine Categories

Expanding on the philosophy of everyday wines that I posted about the other day, you can also pair wine and food based on this concept.  This works best if you think about wine in three different categories: everyday, weekend and special occasion.

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During the week, if you are anything like me, you probably typically prepare simple recipes.  These are the types of meals that you would pair with inexpensive, yet satisfying, everyday wines.  For me, that might be a grilled pork loin paired with Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir or a chicken & pasta dish with Cavit Pinot Grigio.

On the weekends, you might try to go out of your comfort zone and make more inspired dishes or you probably have more time to spend on a recipe that requires hours to prepare.  Pair this with an intriguing wine that you have not tried yet. I will be honest, when I think of these more intricate dishes, I don’t tend to think of myself.  One of my closest friends is a fabulous chef and I immediately think of her when using this concept.  She generously invites people over to her house on a regular basis for Friday night dinners or Sunday brunch, making specialties like homemade dim sum & seafood crepes or quiche florentine & stuffed french toast.  Recently we had a chicken parmesan dish with white bean salad that was amazing, paired with a nice Merlot I had read about recently.

On special occasions, you have the opportunity to splurge!  The only memorable time that I have splurged quite a bit was after my college graduation, drinking some bottles of Veuve Clicuot Champagne with friends.  My college roommate loved this particular Champagne and she was the definition of trendy and sophisticated so I knew her approval meant that this was solid Champagne.  Beyond this, my splurges have tended to be more about quantity than quality and I am hoping to change that!  Sticking with this concept, I am thinking that I will bring a few nice bottles of wine to our family Christmas Eve dinner this year.  We typically have prime rib as our meal and I am thinking that might go nicely with a Barolo or Bordeaux.

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