Coming home after a long day at work or school is a moment we all used to revel in. Remember? Put your feet up, pet the dog, take a load off. Even now, if we’re working from home or attending classes by Zoom meeting, we all enjoy the moment when we can put our work down, close the laptop and “Call it a day”.
But then, of course, you gotta eat. Some of us have embraced our current stay-at-home lifestyle, and have spread our wings with online cooking courses, YouTube recipes, homemade breads and the like.
Some of us, on the other hand, have not.
If you’re the planning type, perhaps you have planned and prepped your dinner in advance - but if you’re like me, you may end up ordering takeout, calling your favourite pizza joint, dumping a box of KD in the pot or scrounging up some variation of pasta/salad/whatever is frozen in the back of the freezer.
Often, many of us want to enjoy a nice glass of wine to unwind from the day, but are left baffled in pairing a good wine with food that an average person eats – I’m not talking about Chicken Cordon Bleu, bouillabaisse or some sort of Escargot dish – I’m talking about REAL food, comfort food –stuff you can pop in the oven, boil on the stove or toss on the grill.
Mind you, just because your meal may not be something you’d findin a French restaurant, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a blissful, delicious glass of wine that you made yourself (with the help of Art of Brewing in Ladysmith, of course). Therefore, I’ve prepared the following pairing suggestions to help you unwind, relax, and enjoy a good healthy glass of the nectar of the Gods with what previously would have been known as “comfort food”but which we’re all now, if we’re honest, calling “dinner”.
Read on to discover wine pairings with simple and easy meals!
Macaroni and Cheese: Merlot
As a “lighter” medium-bodied red, Merlots are quite successful when paired with many cheese dishes, such as quesadillas and macaroni and cheese, pizza, lasagna, and lighter meats such as turkey or chicken.
Burgers: Cabernet Sauvignon
This full-bodied red wine is the most popular wine in the world,and for a good reason! It is a safe bet to serve with cheese, pasta with tomato sauce, burgers, steaks, and ribs. Pro tip: Open the bottle one to three hours before serving to allow oxygen to bring out the flavours in the wine.
Pasta and Tomato Sauce: Pinot Noir
This dry wine is known for its soft and smooth finish and is marvelous when served with beef dishes, barbecue, salmon, pasta dishes with tomato or pesto, and any dishes featuring mushrooms.
Like most white wines, rosé is best served with lighter dishes and vegetables; however, it has the advantage of being a fantastic dessert wine. Ice cream, cobblers, and cake to your heart’s delight! Serve chilled for further enjoyment.
This wine may be the most universal of the whites-- pairing with most poultry dishes, pork, bacon, BLTs, and cheeses. Pro tip: Rieslings can be made quite dry all the way to very sweet; thus pair sweeter wines with sweeter dishes and desserts, and drier wines with savoury and/or spicy cuisine.
Burritos: Sauvignon Blanc
Generally, this citrus-heavy dry wine pairs well with Greek,Mexican, or Thai cuisine, specifically accentuating garlic or spices within the foods. Perfect for Taco Tuesday and many of your favourite take out foods! (Be aware that this pairing works better for chicken or meatless cuisine, and red meats in these cuisines may pair better with a red wine). For vegetarian dishes, pair this wine with lighter vinaigrette sauces, and dishes containing peas, edamame, avocados, and cheese such as feta.
This dry and often full-bodied wine pairs beautifully with dishes such as sushi, chicken seasoned with a variety of citrus and herbs, grilled cheese, salads with creamy dressings, and pasta or pizza with creamy sauces. Note – Chardonnay does not usually pair well with acidic foods, such as tomato sauce in pastas and pizzas, or overly-spicy food.
Wine is one of the most versatile beverages on the planet – and we are eternally grateful for it! There really is a good wine for every meal! Consider this list a primer – but don’t be afraid to experiment! What’s the worst that could happen?
Cheers! Sante! To Your Health!