SUMMER WINE PAIRINGS
You don’t have to be a Francophile to love rosé wines from France. They are made mostly of the Grenache grape, which has refreshing and vibrant acidity as well as flavors like strawberry and raspberry. These wines are very food friendly but can also be enjoyed on their own.
Classic food pairings: Appetizers like tapenade, patés and terrines are a perfect match. Cold or room temperature pasta salads, and salads with a protein in them such as chicken also work well for a first course.
Sauvignon Blanc (France in particular, as well as USA and Chile), Albarinio (Spain), and Vermentino (Italy). If you enjoy shellfish, these wines are among the best for pairings. In particular, whites from the Loire Valley in France are a terrific match. Sancerre and Pouilly Fume are made entirely of the Sauvignon Blanc grape and both have a decisive high-acid and fruit forwardness that is the perfect foil for the saline quality of shellfish. Albarinio and Vermentino are also shellfish friendly wines and offer tremendous value.
Classic food pairings: Oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels in white wine.
For lobster, especially served with melted butter, full-bodied Chardonnay is a perfect match. The famous White Burgundy wines from France made from 100 percent Chardonnay offer a lean, high-toned acidic structure which may not sound good, but makes them some of the best food wines on the planet.
Classic food pairings: Lobster, roast chicken, creamed pasta dishes, roast pork.
Cabernet, Merlot, Bordeaux, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino.
These are big “winter wines” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them with a perfectly grilled Porterhouse! For most other dishes though, these wines will likely seem too strong for most summer food. Be sure they are cool to the touch or the alcohol will feel very strong. This goes for all red wines.
Classic summer pairings: Grilled steak such as bone-in porterhouse, New York strip, Delmonico.