#30Seconds In-Depth: Food & Wine Pairings With Rachel Portell of Taylored Wines! by Donna John
Celebrate National Wine Day with us and learn all you need to know about selecting and enjoying wine with the foods you love! This week, we were thrilled to welcome 30Seconds contributor Rachel Portell, founder of Taylored Wine, as our featured Twitter chat guest. Lean back, grab a glass of your favorite wine and learn more about wine and food pairings!
Q: Farmers markets are finally open across the country! What are some good farmers market food and wine pairings?
- It's asparagus season! Avoid oaky whites/tannic reds and opt for bright, citrusy whites. I like sauvignon blanc or unoaked chardonnay.
- Morel mushrooms are in season, and their earthy, meaty flavor pairs perfectly with red burgundy. I love them roasted with herbs.
- I recently found a delicious kale and strawberry salad recipe in Green City Market's cookbook that I'll be trying with champagne. And when all else fails, there's nothing better than rosé, a freshly baked baguette and some farm-fresh goat cheese!
Q: What's the rule of thumb for pairing wine and cheese?
- Ah, the classic combo. If you don't know where to start, try picking wines that complement the flavors of the cheese.
- Big bold cabs stand up to aged cheddars, bubbles cut through the salt in Parmesan and port pairs well with stinky bleu cheese.
- You can also go with contrasting flavors – like cutting a sweet cheese with a high-acid wine. Think mozzarella and sauvignon blanc.
Q: Any tips for entertaining with wine over the summer?
- Don't be afraid to chill your reds a bit on a toasty summer evening! Pair big reds with bold meats (go zinfandel/shiraz with spice).
- Summer staples like salmon, pork and smoked meats (especially with bacon) go well with pinot noir - it's a versatile summer red.
- When in doubt pop the bubbles! Keep it light like prosecco or cava. They're cool, crisp, fun and pair well with most anything!
- When all else fails, host an al fresco brunch with well-chilled rosé, champagne and unoaked chardonnay and call it a day.
Q: What are some classic food and wine pairings we shouldn't be missing?
- An absolute classic that's often saved for special occasions is champagne and caviar. Champagne takes caviar to another level.
- Oysters with muscadet is another heavenly pairing, and while we're on seafood, a rich chardonnay with lobster. Yes, please!
- A bit more obvious, but classic none the less, pinot noir and duck are spectacular together, as are cabernet sauvignon and steak. And it’s always important to remember to drink what you like!
Q: Wine can't always be fancy. What are some delicious junk food pairings?
- Champagne with fried chicken is both incredibly popular and incredibly delicious. Acid plus bubbles are great with rich food
- A few more tasty pairings with bubbles: french fries and/or potato chips and glazed doughnuts.
- I'm a bit frightened to try this one, but have noticed both VInePair and The Nest mention rosé and Cool Ranch Doritos in the past.
- I also enjoy a lightly oaked chardonnay with popcorn – is there a better way to watch a movie?
Q. What does rosé wine pair with?
This is why sommeliers love rosé! It is SO versatile. It's dry, acidic and well-balanced nature makes it very food friendly. Some of my personal favorite pairings are rosé with sushi (especially spicy tuna), tacos and/or goat cheese on toast. Rosé is a great BYOB wine option because it also goes well with Thai, Asian (including sushi), Mexican and Indian cuisines. And, to be cliche, rosé goes incredibly well with a warm summer afternoon on a patio amongst good company.
Q: Any last wine pairing tips to leave us with?
- A great tip to keep in mind is: if it grows together it goes together.
- Quick and easy: try to match the body/richness of the wine and the food and pair acidic foods with acidic wines. And, the most important tip is to drink what you like! Everyone is different so make sure you are enjoying your wine and food.