Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pairing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

After yesterday's post, I realize I failed to include one ov the most important things you need to know - what foods do they work best with. Since I can confess to more messes than successes when it comes to pairing, I am going to utilize/summarize Evan Golstein's "Perfect Pairings" to try to keep it above board and simple. Since I really like his "works well" and "doesn't work" categories, I will go with that, too. If you're looking for help with pairing, or looking for another cookbook, this book is great as there are recipes with commentary (his wife is a chef) on pairing matches specific to the recipes.

Works well:
*with dishes having rich textures and flavors
*to counterbalance rich dishes by drinking a higher acidity wine (you're gonna need an unoaked, cooler-climate Chard)
*with most mild and sweet shellfish
*with butter, creamy, melted cheese
*with many sweet spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, five-spice
*with nuts or recipes incorporating nuts
*with milder white mushrooms
*with onion and garlic

Doesn't work:
*if too oaky
*with hot or spicy dishes
*with sharp ingredients
*with overly sweet foods
*with many cheeses

Pinot Noir
Goes well:
*with dishes with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger
*with foods smoked, grilled or lightly charred
*with many fish, especially tuna and swordfish
*with vegetables and earthier flavors
*with Asian cuisines
*with cold cuts, charcuterie (sausages), and mild cheeses

Doesn't work:
*with stronger seafood and fish, like mussels, mackeral, sea bass, sardines
*with overly rich dishes
*with fiery heat
*with almost all strong-flavored cheeses

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