Wine and Beer Links of Interest
An Introductory Guide
Wine and Food PairingTraditional rules of wine pairing suggest:
Example: Two salmon steaks, one prepared in a teriyaki sauce and the other prepared in a lemon sauce. If a Cabernet Sauvignon were served, it would match well with the bold teriyaki-flavoured salmon. Yet, it would be a terrible combination with the salmon prepared in lemon sauce. A Sauvignon Blanc would pair better with the salmon in lemon sauce because one main characteristic of a Sauvignon Blanc is that it is acidic. Try to match the characteristic of the grape with the flavour of the meal.
The Wonderful World of White WinesBy Victoria McComrick Product Advisor, KV
When shopping for white wine, whether it be for yourself, to accompany a meal or to give as a gift, do you ever find yourself wondering; “Is there something else out there other than Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio?” Well, the answer is YES! As a Product Advisor for ANBL as well as a lover of white wine, I enjoy a buttery, oaky Chardonnay, or nice light, fruit-forward Pinot Grigio just as much as the next person. However, there is so much more to discover in the wonderful world of white wines.
Some of the best, most interesting white wines in the world are those that may not be well known. Many of them are blends, such as Bordeaux, but most of them are single varietals. Let me be your guide and take you on a quick journey around the world of white wines in the hope of enticing you to try a few of them for yourself. Below I have listed some of my personal favorites along with a brief description and a food pairing recommendation. Let’s go!
Let’s start with Rieslings. Rieslings can range from dry to sweet. They are light to medium in boldness and highly aromatic with a good amount of crispness to off-set any residual sugar. Off-dry Rieslings are excellent wines to pair with any spicy dish. Try Lingenfelder Bird Label Riesling (750 ml, $19.79) paired with an Asian salad.
Next up is Gewurztraminer, which typically come from colder climates. France, Austria, and Canada make excellent Gewurztraminers, to name a few. These can range from dry, off-dry to sweet, but what sets them apart from most other whites is their ‘spiciness’. On the nose Gewurz (as it is known for short) is very floral and has a distinctive tropical leachy fruit characteristic. On the palate it is fruity and spicy. Try Anselman Gewurztraminer (750 ml, $19.79) from Alsace, paired with Pad Thai.
On to one of my absolute favorites, Muscadet! This is the best wine to pair with seafood or shellfish. This is due to the region from which it comes, the Loire region of France. Loire is in close proximity to the ocean and as the old saying goes, ‘what grows together, goes together’. Muscadet wines have a creamy texture and are quite acidic, but they also have a certain richness that really comes through when paired with a seafood dish. Try La Sablette (750 ml, $17.99) paired with freshly steamed lobster. You will be amazed.
Another French wine is Viognier. As more Viognier vines have been planted all over the world, these wines are increasing in popularity, and for good reason. They are very easy drinking, delicious, food friendly wines. Originating from the Rhone Valley of France, Viognier is known to be quite intense, mid to full bodied, and has wonderful tropical fruit flavour with a little bit of spice. Try Nova’s Viognier (750 ml, $17.49) with roasted butternut squash soup.
Last but not least is Torrontes, a highly aromatic white wine exclusive to Argentina. It is fresh and crisp with flavors of tropical fruit. It is a perfect substitute for Pinot Grigio, and it pairs best with light, simple dishes. Try Don David Torrontes (750 ml, $16.99) with a caprese salad of mozzarella, basil and fresh tomatoes.
A great way to get to know these wines better is to host a white wine tasting party and ask each of your guests to bring a bottle of white wine that they have not tried before. You could also assign each guest a varietal to really taste the difference in each. Or, of course, you can have fun by experimenting on your own! Have fun and enjoy exploring the wonderful world of white wines!