When I saw the theme for this week’s #SundaySupper - Dishes in 5 Ingredients or Less – my first thought was “Wow, that’s going to be a challenge”, because I’ve seen the creativity and passion my BFFs (Best Foodie Friends;-) bring to the #SundaySupper table. Then I thought, why not try to pair the undoubtedly diverse menu with only 5 five wines? As I’m sure it was a challenge to use only 5 ingredients and still get great flavor, it’s challenge for me to limit myself to a list of the 5 most food friendly wines. Ah, but in challenge lies opportunity!
As I contemplated the five most food friendly wines, I kept coming back to wines that are flexible in structure and in style. By structure, I mean all the wines have a great backbone of acidity, a core of succulent fruit, lower alcohol, and modest or no tannins. What I mean by style is that the grape produces wines in a wide range of styles from light to full-bodied. That diversity of style makes these wines versatile pairing partners with a broad range of foods.
Champagne and other sparkling wines like Cava, and Prosecco have an incredible affinity for a wide range of foods. Aside from the aforementioned high acidity and lower alcohol, there’s the bubbly effervescence! I always have a chilled bottle of bubbly on hand! Unfortunately, most folks only drink bubbly when it’s a special occasion or as a cocktail without food. But now you know better. Right?!
Sparkling wines work especially well:
- To accompany raw fish (sushi, sashimi, oysters, etc.),
- Tart foods: citrus, vinegars, pomegranate, dill, capers, and tomatoes
- As a counterpoint for foods that are salty, moderately spicy, rich and creamy, or deep-fried. (For example, a classic pairing is buttered popcorn with sparkling wine)
- With many Latin dishes (empanadas ceviche and mole), Asian cuisines (Tempura, gyoza, Chinese deep-fried dishes, fish cakes, Indian Samosas, etc.), Middle Eastern dishes (hummus, baba ghanoush)
- To accompany dishes that are challenging to pair with other wines like egg dishes and soups.
- To pair with dishes that are inherently toasty like canapes or puff-pastry dishes.
Riesling is widely regarded as the most food friendly white wine. It’s among the most versatile wines because it’s made in a wide range of sweetness, from bone-dry to very sweet dessert style wines.
Riesling goes well:
- Almost any fatty poultry like goose, duck and other gamy birds.
- Rich, salty meats such as ham, sausages, and charcuterie. LIkewise for mildly salty cheeses such as Gorgonzola.
- Sweet shellfish such as crab, lobster, and prawns.
- Dishes seasoned with exotic spices, such as curries, cardamom, clove, mace, star anise, etc.
- Quiche and other egg-based dishes.
You know how a squeeze of lemon seems to enhance almost anything? I think of Sauvignon Blanc as a vinous equivalent. It can be a polarizing wine. It’s a bit like cilantro – people tend to either love it or hate it. But since this a wine that is made in a diverse range of style, I believe there is something for virtually everyone. It’s a matter of finding the style that suites you!
Sauvignon Blanc goes well:
- With dishes emphasizing fresh herbs, or dressed with a vinaigrette dressing.
- With dishes prepared with a variety of cooking methods, from low-impact such as steamy to high-impact such as smoking, and grilling.
- With most vegetarian soups.
- As a counterbalance to rich dishes made with light-cream or butter-based sauces.
- With acidic or sharp ingredients such as citrus, dairy (yogurt, sour cream,etc) dill, capers, olives, and tomatoes.
- With spicy hot dishes – the acidity and generally lower alcohol level refreshes the palate.
- With a wide variety of cheeses. Goat cheese is the classic pairing, but try it with Brie, Gruyere, Neufchatel, or sharp cheddar.
Pinot Noir is known as the Chef’s wine because its affinity for such a broad range of foods. It’s also the wine most often described in sensual terms! Depending on the vintner’s choices, it can be delicate and light-bodied, or bold and full-bodied!
Pinot Noir pairs well with:
- Damn near everything (which is why it’s often the first choice for a food-a-palooza like Thanksgiving) because it’s so flexible.
- Dishes that complement its inherently spicy flavors such as dishes spiced with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, or ginger.
- With foods that are smoked, lightly charred, or grilled, especially if you’re serving one with a more oak-driven style.
- Many fish – especially Salmon, tuna or swordfish.
- With veggies (especially mushrooms) and dishes with earthier flavors such as cooked beans, greens, lentils, or dishes seasoned with Dijon mustard.
- A multitude of Asian cuisines – Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean foods. That’s because these cuisines often have sweet-salt flavor combinations with which Pinot Noir plays well.
Sangiovese is produced in diverse range of styles. In Italy, where the wines are named after geographical regions rather than the grape varietal, there is, of course, Chianti, but there’s also Brunello, Montepulciano, and “Super Tuscan” variations of Sangiovese.
Sangiovese goes well:
- With dishes with tomato-based sauces.
- Dishes that are slow braised, grilled, or lightly smoked.
- With dishes featuring fresh herbs such as basil, thyme or sage.
- Richer, full-bodied soups such a bean soup, or minestrone.
Here is this week’s great #SundaySupper menu:
Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:
Pair these dishes with Korbel Natural, a “California Champagne” made of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay. It’s a crisp, dry sparkler with cherry, raspberry and apple character.
- Pa Jun or Korean Scallion Pancakes – Kimchi Mom
- Homemade Instant Oatmeal – Home Cooking Memories
- GlutenFree Apricot Bacon Onion and Cheese Spread or Dip – Cooking Underwriter
- Caprese Bites – My Catholic Kitchen
- So Simple Pizza Puffs – Hip Foodie Mom
- Toast Topper #11: Allspice Peach Butter – What Smells So Good?
- Strawberry Balsamic Jam – The Messy Baker Blog
- Broccoli and Feta Frittata – Kwistin’s Favorites
Pair these main dishes with the Korbel Natural mentioned above:
- Freezable Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwiches – Big Bear’s Wife
- Potato Kugel – From Fast Food to Fresh Food
Pair these dishes with Sauvignon Blanc. Look for the 2011 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Te Muna Road Vineyard. It’s from New Zealand and it’s full of citrus, gooseberry and tropical fruit character:
- Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes – Juanita’s Cocina
- Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches – Supper for a Steal
- Roasted Shrimp With Chili-Lime Sauce – Magnolia Days
- Garlic Butter Fried Rice – My Trials in the Kitchen
- Goat Cheese Rigatoni Alfredo – Family Foodie
- Appley Kielbasa – The Meltaways
- Chipotle Honey Lime Pork Tenderloin – Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos – The Hand That Rocks The Ladle
- Peanut Butter Noodles – In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Creamy Ham Linguine – The Daily Dish Recipes
- Baked Sweet Potato with Maple-Jalapeno – Comfy Cuisine
- Pork Loin with Port Shallot Sauce – Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Soy, Orange Juice and Red Wine Marinated Flank – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Beef Tenderloin with Stilton Pecan Butter – Noshing With The Nolands
- Herbed Butter Pork Chops – Brie’s Bites
- Roasted Moroccan Rack of Lamb – Maroc Mama
- Sweet and Nutty Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes – Mama.Mommy.Mom.
- Fresh Basil and Tomato Pasta – I Run For Wine
- Gulasch – Galactosemia in PDX
- Spaghetti with Kale and Sausage – Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Pesto, Tomato & Feta Pizza – Momma’s Meals
- Quick Black Bean Burritos – Diabetic Foodie
- Lumachine with Fresh Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce – Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Stuffed Shells – Cravings of a Lunatic
- Grilled Polenta Cakes – Lovely Pantry
- Nutella Ice Cream – Shockingly Delicious
- Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Mint M&M’s – The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Grilled Mango Parfait with Greek Yogurt & Silvered Almonds – Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Honey Macaroons – Pippis In the Kitchen Again
- Strawberry Frozen Yogurt – Damn Delicious
- Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey
- Easy Chocolate Chilli Fudge – Soni’s Food for Thought
- White-Chocolate Raspberry Puff Pastry Doughnuts – The Weekend Gourme
- Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars – In The Kitchen With KP
- Chocolate-Caramel Ice Cream – Basic N Delicious
- Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake – Baker Street
- Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn – Mom’s Test Kitchen
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!
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