With the best food and wine pairings, the wine enhances the taste of the food, and the wine shines better when enjoying it along with the dish.
I’m so pleased to welcome David from Cooking Chat to share a guest post about food and wine pairings. You can read more about David and his blog in this blogger spotlight.
One of my favorite things about cooking is finding great food and wine pairings. With the best pairings, the wine enhances the taste of the food, and the wine shines better when enjoying it along with the dish.
There are a lot of wine pairing rules to ignore, or at least take with a grain of salt. For instance, some people think you need to go with a white wine for fish. You will find a couple of good red wine pairings in this article to show you that one doesn’t always work.
The one wine pairing tip that is bound to serve you well is captured in the adage “what grows together, goes together.” In other words, wine regions often have a food and wine culture that has evolved over time, leading to food and wine pairings that really sing.
I have assembled 15 great regional food and wine pairings that illustrate this what grows together, goes together concept. We have a combination of classic regional recipes, and creative recipes inspired by the ingredients of the wine region. Thanks to the talented group of food and wine bloggers that shared their ideas! Recipes that don’t mention a specific blogger are my own Cooking Chat creations.
Ligurian Pesto Pasta with a Crisp White Wine
I love pesto and Italian food & wine pairings, so this I figured this would be a great place to start this roundup. Liguria is an Italian region on the Mediterranean coast near the border with France. Genoa is the big city in Liguria, and the area is famous for its basil pesto. Any crisp Ligurian white wine with a pesto dish is bound to be a great combination. If you want to really eat like a Ligurian local, try our Ligurian Pesto Pasta and track down a bottle of Punta Crena Pigato to go with it!
Piemonte: Porcini Mushroom Risotto with a Nebbiolo
The Piemonte region (also referred to as the “Piedmont” in English) in Northeastern Italy is home to some impressive wines made from the Nebbiolo grape. Barolo and Barbaresco are special wines made from Nebbiolo from designated areas in the Piedmont. Those are great wines to enjoy, but you can also find some good quality, affordable Piedmont wines that simply goes by Nebbiolo on the label.
I find the earthy characteristics of truffles and porcini mushrooms, with can be found in Northern Italy, pair very well with Nebbiolo. So for a Piemonte pairing, try our Porcini Mushroom Risotto with a Nebbiolo.
Tuscan Beef Stew with a Chianti
Tuscany is a source for so many wonderful wines and great food! Our Tuscan Beef Stew recipe cooks slowly with Italian herbs, and is wonderful paired with a good Chianti. If you want something lighter from Tuscany try our Tuscan Kale Pasta with a Vernaccia, a white wine often found in San Gimignano.
Northern Burgundy Served with Rabbit
Jeff from foodwineclick moves us from Italy to another country full of classic wine regions. Jeff serves up Rabbit with Mustard and Cornichons with a white and red wine from Burgundy, one of my favorite wine regions. If you’re new to French wine, it’s helpful to know that white Burgundy is typically made from Chardonnay grapes, and red from Pinot Noir. But the Burgundian version of these grapes is likely to taste much different from “New World” styles you might find from California.
Choucroute Garnis with Pinot Blanc From Alsace
Moving to the French border with Germany, we have Alsace regional wine pairing from Jeff. Choucroute Garnis, basically a fancy version of kielbasa and sauerkraut, packs a lot of flavor with some extra spices and mustard. Sounds perfect paired with a Pinot Blanc from Alsace!
Chicken Cassoulet Paired with Languedoc Red Wine
Some of the wine pairing recipes in this article are inspired by the wine region, as opposed to being a traditional recipe. Not the case with this one! Cassoulet is a classic regional dish from the Languedoc region of Southern France. There are many variations on the recipe, but they all involve slowly cooking a combination of sausage, beans and meat and/or poultry for some hearty comfort food. Our Chicken Cassoulet is a bit healthier than some versions, but doesn’t skimp on flavor! Our post gives you a few suggestions of good earthy Languedoc red wine blends to try. If you can’t find these bottles, ask for suggestions at your local wine shop.
Indian Spiced Beef Bordeaux
Wendy from a Day in the Life on the Farm adds a little Indian spice to a traditional Bordeaux beef meal with this Indian Spiced Beef Bordeaux recipe. Sounds tasty! Pairs with with a Bordeaux red wine blend.
Stuffed Calamari and Salsa Verde with a Greek White Wine
Nicole from Somm’s Table brings us to the Greek coast, conjuring up visions of enjoying fried calamari with a crisp Greek wine. If your trip to Greece is just going to be a virtual one based on what you cook up in your kitchen, try making her Stuffed Calamari and Salsa Verde! Nicole serves the calamari with the Greek white wine Roditis; if you can’t find that you might try other Greek whites and let us know how you liked it.
The Best Portuguese Kale Soup with Portuguese Red Wine
After a lot of experimenting, we have perfected the Best Portuguese Kale Soup recipe! We have made a few tweaks on the classic version, with tasty results. This hearty soup with kale and spicy sausage calls out for a Portuguese red blend. For some great background on Portuguese wine and food, check out How Portugal’s History Effects Its Culinary and Wine Culture, by Lori from Dracaena Wines.
Chicken and Eggplant Paella with a Spanish Tempranillo
Paella is a great Spanish dish to feature in this regional food and wine pairings roundup. Jane from Always Ravenous brings us Chicken and Eggplant Paella, inspired by the cuisine of the Spanish Navarra region. She serves it with a Tempranillo from that region. Yum!
Rosemary Roasted Cornish Hens with Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc
Cornish hens are a readily available yet under used ingredient. Like other members of the poultry family they can be prepared in a variety of ways. Rosemary Roasted Cornish Hens with vegetables from Family Around the Table pairs nicely with Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California
Frikkadel with Sheba Sauce and South African Cabernet Sauvignon
Time to jump to another continent! With that move, we start exploring New World wine pairings. Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere brings us a delicious, authentic pairing from South Africa. She serves up Frikkadel, a lightly spiced South African meatball dish with an herby tomato sauce. A Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa is just the thing to serve with this specialty!
Grilled Tuna with Eggplant, Peppers and a Paso Syrah
For one of my first Wine Pairing Weekend posts, I was looking to cook up a recipe inspired by the ingredients of Paso Robles wine region. The result was this Grilled Tuna with Eggplant and Peppers recipe, which pairs nice with a Syrah from Paso.
Whole Rainbow Trout and Oregon Chardonnay
Jade from the Tasting Pour asked if I wanted to include something from Oregon in this regional food and wine roundup. Of course! I love Oregon wine, especially the Pinot Noir. Jade serves up the whole fish in her Whole Rainbow Trout along with an Oregon Chardonnay from Stoller Vineyards. Definitely a lot of great Pacific Northwest going on there! While we’re in that region, you might also want to check out Jade’s adventures harvesting mussels on the Oregon coast, and her recipes for cooking them up…enjoyed with more Oregon wine, of course!
Big Reds and Grilled Favorites from Argentina
If you’ve ever been to Argentina or a restaurant featuring its cuisine, you know that grilled meats play a central place in the country’s food. So it’s no surprise you are going to want some big red wines to go with it; fortunately Argentina produces many good ones. Jane served Lamb and Eggplant Skewers with Chimichurri sauce, and covers several good wines in the same article. Speaking of chimichurri, the classic sauce from Argentina, you might want to try my Awesome Avocado Steak Tacos which adds avocado to the basic chimichurri.