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Food & Wine Pairing 101

An evening last week, I prepared a rather elaborate and intimate food and wine pairing dinner for some friends.

I marinated both pork and chicken in different ingredients to emphasize each protein's affinities with the various wines I chose. I served alongside the meats four sauces, two for each meat. Some grilled mushrooms, roasted onions and baked figs with a fig Balsamic vinaigrette and goat cheese to round out the meal worked nicely.

I served two whites and two reds to showcase the pairing affinities.

The two whites were both high acid whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. For reds, it was a Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast and a Spanish, full-bodied Tempranillo. All the wines were very different from each other and the sauces were so different, it proved to be a really fun exploration for my guests.

What they said they liked about it was being to able to compare and contrast the various flavors of the wines with the foods and go home with a renewed sense of confidence and excitement about the fascinating interplay of food and wine. Just as interesting as what worked is what didn't work.

I just love watching people's faces light up and get turned on with this new information. It's all about SLOWING DOWN....focusing on what you're eating and drinking and sharing in the exploration. There's nothing like it to deepen friendships and ignite new ones!


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