Tag Archives: pairing red wine with food

Grape of the Week: Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir, UC Davis

Every wine lover should see the movie Sideways. For anyone who’s traveled through wine country, it’s all the more hilarious – a must see! One of the most memorable moments is an eloquent speech about why Pinot Noir is so special. For Pinot Noir lovers, the wine is much more than a sensory experience – it’s an emotional experience.  

who knew that popular culture could have such a strong influence on sales? Pinot Noir sales soared after the movie was released, creating shortages, in spite of the simultaneous market trend toward strong sales of huge, concentrated “fruit bombs.”

What to Expect From Pinot Noir I say “in spite of” because Pinot Noir has never been meant to be a black, massive monster of a wine. While Cabernet comes in and takes command, Pinot Noir prefers to gain favor by whispering. Subtle, sleek, silky, sweetish red fruit with earthy undertones (and sometimes overtones!). It’s not unusual to notice slightly smoky, bacon-like character.

This is the ultimate food-friendly red. Light to medium bodied, by red standards, moderate alcohol levels (usually), and low tannins make it an easy-going partner for a wide variety of foods. Continue reading


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White Wine Food, When You Feel Like Red


photo from dharmabumx on Flickr

Does that ever happen to you? Happens to me all the time. My protein of choice seems to call for white, but I really want a glass of deep, satisfying red wine. Well, most often I say “The heck with it.” and have what I want. As I’ve said, ad nauseum, most wines and foods taste pretty good together and it’s silly to worry about pairing.

But, the fact is, if you haven’t actually cooked the protein yet, there are bridge builders you can use to make a better match.

You could use a pork chop as an example – or chicken breast – or even a piece of sword fish or halibut.

My favorite bridge builders?  

Grill it! Those blackened, crusty grill marks can pull the dish into the red wine column. The grilled flavor loves tannin and makes the oak pop. Still not quite right? Add salt and lemon juice (thank you Tim Hanni.) Continue reading

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