Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

It’s Drinking Season

April 3, 2009

With spring upon us and summer around the corner, drinkers everywhere are salivating at the thought of cracking open their favorite seasonal brew, uncorking their most cherished white wine or mixing up a refreshing cocktail. (Not that we haven’t been drinking all winter, but the changing of the seasons pairs well with some lighter fare.)

Below are a few recommendations that will make wasting away these glorious afternoons and evenings a little more memorable. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.


Bocks — Originating in Germany and generally regarded as the first “seasonal” beer, bocks were traditionally released in the spring. The rules may have changed some over the years, but have a bock this spring–perhaps from Anchor Brewing or Yuengling–and tip your hat to the Germans.

Sam Adams Summer Ale — A good wheat beer can be quite refreshing, especially on a hot day. This beer is brewed with malted wheat, lemon zest and grains of paradise — a rare pepper from Africa. But more importantly, since the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev in 2008, Sam Adams is now the largest domestic beer producer in the United States, so every beer you drink is helping our economy.


German Rieslings — There are a number of good Rieslings, and this white wine has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, especially as whites have started to rival the popularity of reds. Rieslings have built a reputation of being one of the most varied of white wines, encompassing a range from dry to sweet and pairing well with a variety of foods. For specific inspiration, check out The New York Times Eric Asimov’s list of his 10 favorite Rieslings.


Mojito — Traditionally made with five ingredients — white rum, simple syrup (or sugar), lime, carbonated water, and mint,  this tasty cocktail offers a refreshing beverage in preparation for summer.

Vodka & Soda, with a splash of cranberry juice — A crowd pleaser for the ladies, this is a light, tasty drink that any bartender can make (if not, you might want to reconsider where you take your dates). A nice addition is a slice of lime to add a bit of a citrus to accompany the tartness of the cranberry juice.


Pairing Wine with Food

March 29, 2009


Pairing wine with food can heighten enjoyment of both the wine and the meal individually as well as enhance the overall experience.  While not an exact science, there is a method to pairing wine with food that extends beyond red wine with red meat and white wine with chicken and fish.


The primary goal in matching wine and food is ensuring that one does not overpower the other, and that, instead, they complement each other. For example, it’s smart to balance the intensity of flavors by pairing lighter wines with lighter food and fuller-bodied wines with rich, bold-flavored dishes.  Not taking flavor intensity into account often leads to the food overwhelming the wine or vice versa.


Acid is one important flavor note to consider when pairing wine with food.  Generally, tangy dishes pair well with an acidic wine.  For example, a tomato-based sauce goes well with Chianti, while a lemony white sauce pairs well with Pinot Grigio.


Another important consideration is tannin—the element in wine that gives you a dry, puckery feeling of the mouth.  High tannin wines pair well with fatty foods like beef, as the dry astringency of the tannins cuts through the fattiness of the meat.


Spicy Asian dishes were long considered unfriendly partners to wine, but there are some general guidelines to consider when pairing wine with Asian food.  Oaky Chardonnays don’t typically pair well with Asian dishes, nor do highly tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignons, as each will fight with the strong Asian flavors, leaving both the food and the wine tasting off flavor.  Instead, try acidic white wines like Sauvignon Blancs or fruity reds like Zinfandels or Syrahs.


These are general guidelines for pairing wine with food, but regardless of any rules or suggestions, the best pairing is made up of good food, good wine and good company.  So eat, drink and experiment with your pairings to learn what you personally like best.