Wine Pairing Recommendations For #SundaySupper Regional Specialties

This week, the Sunday Supper taste makers are celebrating regional food specialties. Foodies believe there is no better way to get to know an area than to experience what the “natives” eat.  The Sunday Supper family is sharing more than 40 wonderful dishes they grew up eating or learned to love while visiting or living in a specific area.

I love this theme because I believe, in many ways, you can come to know something about the people of a place through the food and wine of that place.

Here are my general tips for How To Sensibly Pair Food And Wine.

Regional Food and Wine Pairing
Image courtesy of

My wine pairing recommendations follow:

Pair the appetizers, breakfast items, salads, soups, and side dishes below with a glass of sparkling wine. Sparkling wines are the Swiss Army knife of wines in my book.  They are a good match for virtually anything   And enjoying a glass of bubbly will not only elevate your meal, it’s the only wine that’s socially acceptable to enjoy with any meal). Look for Gruet Blanc de Noir. It’s blend of mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a lovely pale salmon color and an enticing, rich raspberry, baked pear and toasty vanilla character.  






Side Dishes:


Main Dishes:

Pair the dishes below with Pinot Grigio.  I like the Kirkland Pinot Grigio, Friuli.  It’s a Pinot Grigio from the Friuli region in the far north-eastern corner of Italy. I think it’s one of the best regions for Pinot Grigio in Italy.  The Kirkland Pinot Grigio opens with aromas of apple, peach, clarified butter and wet stones.  In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied, fresh and fruity with apple, and pear flavors and an appealing minerality.

Pair the following dishes with Riesling. A perennial favorite of mine is the Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Riesling Eroica.  It offers calamansi, mandarin orange, and tropical fruit aromas. on the palate it’s off-dry (slightly sweet) with mouth-watering acidity and tropical fruit, citrus, and honey flavors.

Pair these dishes with a medium-bodied Chardonnay with good acidity.  Look for the Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay.  It opens with aromas of spiced pear and freshly sliced apples with a hint of honey.  In the mouth, it shows spiced peach, apple, citrus, tropical fruit, and vanilla flavors.

It’s not hard to imagine myself dining al fresco enjoying a chilled glass of a food friendly Rosé with the dishes below.  A perennial favorite is Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare.  It’s a blend of both red and white Rhone grape varieties with a refreshing, savory Alpine strawberry, and citrus character. 

When I saw these two dishes, the first thought that came to mind is the tried and true food pairing guideline “what grows together, goes together”.  So an Italian wine made from the Barbera grape came to mind.  Barbera tends to be a light-bodied, juicy wine.  Look for the 2012 Terre da Vino “La Luna e I Falò” Barbera d’Asti Superiore from Italy.  It has lush, savory black cherry, plum, and licorice character.

Pair the dishes below with a Malbec. I recently enjoyed the 2013 Catena Malbec from Argentina.  It’s a textbook smooth and supple Malbec with very appealing black cherry, blackberry, plum, dark chocolate and vanilla character. 

Pair the dishes below with a Rioja from Spain. The primary red wine grape in Rioja is Tempranillo. When I look for a value in a food-friendly wine, Spain is at the top of my list. Look for the  2010 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja.  It’s produced by one of the two oldest, historical bodegas that put Rioja on the map in the mid-19th century.  It’s a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano with a perfumed, spicy, savory red cherry, licorice and vanilla character.  

Pair these dishes with a red wine blend.  Look for the Michael David Petit Petite. It’s an intriguing blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot from the 2015 Wine Enthusiast Region of the Year, Lodi. It’s a rich, full-bodied wine with gobs of pure black fruit, cacao and vanilla flavors. 


When it comes to dessert, it’s often best to pair your favorite dessert with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk!  But pairing dessert with a dessert wine can make your favorite dessert even better.  Here are three recommendations that I believe will

Here are some guidelines and recommendations for desserts. There are three factors to consider: sweetness (a dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself), acidity (an acidic wine may pair best with a fruit dish, which also has natural acidity), intensity (the more intense the flavors of a dessert, the more intense the wine), and color ( in general the darker the dessert, the darker the dessert wine should be)

For a mild, light, buttery dessert such as custard, meringue or where vanilla plays a prominent role, I recommend a Moscato d’ Asti, a semi-sweet, lightly sparkling, low-alcohol wine from Piedmont, Italy.  Look for the 2015 Saracco Moscato d’Asti.

For desserts featuring pome, or orchard fruit and cinnamon spice, look for a late harvest or ice-wine style Riesling.  Try the Pacific Rim Vin de Glaciere Riesling.

For dark, buttery, caramelized, nutty, and rich desserts try a Port. Look for the Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port from Portugal.

For frosted cakes or cupcakes, pair the wine to the frosting (i.e for chocolate, peanut butter,  or toffee frosting go with a Port, for vanilla, coconut, whipped cream, sugar cream type frosting go with a Moscato d’Asti or late harvest riesling.

Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

What are your favorite regional recipes? What about regional wines?

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

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  1. Hmm, this is interesting, I like to know how that wine Gruet Blanc de Noir would taste with a salad that loaded with steak and fries :)

  2. Rachel says:

    I could totally see having a Malbec with a rich bison or beef steak.

  3. Stacy says:

    I like the way you think regarding sparkling wine, Martin. It really does elevate a meal! As always, some great pairings!

  4. Eileen says:

    What a great post. I love your suggestion for my Philly Cheesesteak Calzone. My husband had the calzone with an IPA and I had a glass of Malbac.

  5. hezzidD says:

    I’ve missed seeing your pairings! I always look forward to them.

  6. Thanks, Martin! I’ve missed your pairings. Pinot Grigio with mine…perfect.

  7. H.A.G. says:

    Great idea! I will have to look this one up- I love sparkling wine!

  8. reneeskitchenadventures says:

    I love the wine choice you paired with my Polish Boy!

  9. Thanks for the suggestions, Martin. Great to see you back pairing wines this week!

  10. Now I’m going to have to make the wet burritos again and buy the wine to go with it! How fun, thank you for the pairing ideas. I am partial to the white wines from the Traverse City, Michigan area since they are “local” to me. They have a lot of acidity/flinty taste which is really crisp and great with food.

  11. Sparkling wine such a wonderful thing isn’t it? It really lights up the table…Thanks so much for the paring notes. I look forward to more…

  12. Caroline says:

    Some interesting pairings, but I can see how many work. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Renee Dobbs says:

    I would have never thought to pair my collard greens with bubbly. How great! And what a way to fancy up a southern dish.

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