What Wine?

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Here’s some suggestions for choosing the wine to go with that fabulous meal you are preparing. This won’t be anything new to a lot of you, but for some, it might just come in handy! Like when you have bought a wonderful wine and want to cook something that will be a complement to each other!

DSCN5739 nx2The Whites:

These wines need to be chilled but not served ice-cold.

  • Sauvignon Blanc: has herbaceous, lemon, grapefruit overtones. Would be good served with steamed, sautéed or barbecued white fish with a citrus butter sauce, or a citrus butter melting on top or a tarragon mustard sauce. Serve with shrimp and crab, sushi made with white fish; see dry German Riesling as well. Asparagus pairs well with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. & also vegetarian dishes.


  • Chardonnay/ oaked & unoaked: the oaked usually has a toasted/vanilla nose; unoaked has citrus, orchard/tropical fruit, perhaps a bit of spice & a certain bit of butter. A good Chardonnay would go well with roast chicken served with a sauce made from the pan drippings, it also would be good with veal. The rich flavour of Chard pairs well with ripe Brie & other soft cheeses.


  • Viognier:  has exotic citrus, apricot & cream flavours, is round & full bodied. Good with pork chops that have been marinated in some citrus zest, ginger & garlic or simply served with a squeeze of Meyer lemon or a lemon buerre blanc.


  • Pinot Grigio: pairs well with butter & cheese or cream pasta sauces, gnocchi with butter & sage sauce & pork chops or vegetarian dishes as well as freshwater fish.


  • Riesling: has flavours of citrus & peach, with a certain acidity & spice; pairs well with Asian foods such as Chinese food. Try serving with smoked salmon on rye with sour cream & dill. Try it with fried chicken & roast ham.


  • Gewurtzraminer: especially good with Asian, South Asian & Alsatian foods. For your roast turkey, try an Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Also try this wine with a roast ham.


  • Vernaccia: pairs well with fresh artichokes. Try with young veal, pasta dishes or salad in “frico” cups (cheese cups).


  • Vermintino: try serving with cioppino, calamari, grilled white fish & it would be excellent with pesto sauce tossed with pasta.


  • Grechetto: this wine lends character to Orvieto wine but is excellent as a wine in its own right & would be a nice addition to a lunch of Panzanella (tomato-bread salad) or frittata.


  • Soave´: goes well with sole, cod & delicate white fish, or as a first course of seafood salad, or with rich cream or butter pasta dishes.


  • Prosecco: try serving with a fish & or shellfish antipasti, crab cakes or fried squid, prosciutto with melon, ham & scallops wrapped in bacon. As a summer, patio sipper, perhaps with olive ascolani (olives stuffed with sausage filling, breaded & deep fried) to nibble on.


  • Rose´: not the bubbly types of Rose´. The dry, crisp freshness of this wine goes well with quiche, scrambled or fried eggs or try with salad nicoise.

The Reds:

  • Cabernet Saugivnon: roast beef or steak, Cheddar & mild yellow cheeses, duck breast or roast leg of lamb.Merlot: pairs well with roast pork as does a Chianti. Also goes well with Cheddar & mild yellow cheeses. Try with roasted or baked chicken or duck breast.


  • Syrah/Shiraz: choose as an accompaniment to barbecued ribs, roast beef or steak.


  • Pinot Noir: game birds, steaks, roast beef, roast duck, roast turkey & goose. Good with salmon & roast leg of lamb.


  • Zinfandel: perfect for a barbecue, especially burgers & other picnic foods.


  • Chianti: would be a great pairing for a full-flavoured veal roast or veal stew. Try with roasted or baked chicken or roast lamb, grilled lamb chops, grilled steak served with mushrooms sautéed in butter. Would be a great accompaniment to an antipasti of Italian chicken liver crostini. Try serving with an aged Pecorino, aged Gouda or aged Cheddar.


  • Chianti Classico: would be delicious with Osso Bucco.


  • Barolo, Barbaresco or Rhone wines: these are big wines & go well with big foods such as venison or wild boar or other large game & roast leg of lamb, lamb shanks, beef stews, rare grilled steak topped with sautéed mushrooms or veal. Barolo would be very good with a rack of lamb.


  • Rosso di Montalcino: a slightly lighter & cheaper version of Brunello di Montalcino & good with grilled steak, roast pork with lots of garlic & herbs (Artista), mixed grilled meats & sausages.


  • Brunello di Montalcino: try with grilled steak, marinated & grilled portabello mushrooms over polenta or rabbit ragù over pappardelle or medium-sized game animals such as Alberta wild boar.


  • Vino Nobile di Montelpuciano: fresh tagliatelle tossed with EVO & butter & sautéed wild mushrooms, pasta sauce made with dried Porcini, Florentine steak, grilled pork sausages, salumi, grilled or roast lamb.


  • Spanish Rioja: try this wine with lamb chops, lamb shanks, lamb stew, empandas, grilled steak & marinated olives.


  • Nero d’Avola: try with salmon, tuna & swordfish, chicken, pork, veal, beef, eggplant with a spicy, full bodied, acidic sauce with capers & olives, sheep milk cheeses, Cheddar, Fontina, Gruyere, Livarot, Muenster or Raclette.


Phyllis Signature



    • Thanks V. I hope it does help when choosing a vino to go with…

      Salute and cin cin to you! OK how about we skip the gelato & the coffee and go for the vino when we hook up in Rome or Florence…

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