Weekly wine, food,
& travel features!
 














 


Complimentary Contrast

By Foster Smith CSW

Do opposites attract?

I wonder if we have become somewhat “fixed” on the idea of marrying types of grapes with certain types of food, i.e. seafood, steak, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon. While this is undoubtedly correct, I find it more interesting to consider all components of the dish.

Read More...


Dinner of Desire

Break out the fine china for a little romance.

By Jan Walsh

Clo Pegase’s Jan Shrem finds that food and wine alone do not make for a romantic evening.

Read More...


Porch Pairing

Sauvignon Blanc pairs best with warm weather fare.

By Jan Walsh

Light summer fare served with well-chilled Sauvignon Blanc makes for many fresh and delicious pairings.

Read More...


Bella's Garden

Soft shell crab is a match for Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2007.

By Jan Walsh

Bella’s Garden is near and dear to the heart of Two Hands vintner, Richard Mintz. The wine is the namesake of his daughter, Bella. I recently enjoyed this award winning wine—named number five in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines 2007—with Mintz at Blackberry farm, paired with a pan fried soft shell crab.

Read More...


Luck and Money

Pair 75 wines with black-eyed peas and turnip greens on New Year’s Day.

By Jan Walsh


If the number 75 is a reminder of the percentage your stock portfolio lost in 2008, take no chances. Pair 75 wines with black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day. The peas symbolize good luck, the greens symbolize paper money.

Read More...


Champagne Flutes and Martini Glasses

Serve tuna tartare in a chilled martini glass.

If you are a wine lover’s whose martini glasses gather dust, we have the recipe for you. Serve ahi tuna tartare in chilled martini glasses paired with champagne flutes of J. Brut sparkling wine.

Read More...


A Mouthful

Gewurztraminer is difficult to pronounce but easy to pair.

By Jan Walsh

The most popular wines are so because people can pronounce them. Chardonnay is easy to say, whereas Gewurztraminer- geh-VEHRTZ-trah-mee-ner-is a mouthful. But if you ever learn to pronounce it, you have done the hard part. Pairing Gewurztraminer is as easy as... a variety of soft and hard cheeses, pork, smoked foods, spicy foods, sauerkraut, Indian, Chinese and Thai cuisines. And it is a classic pairing with holiday entrees of roast turkey or ham.

Read More...


The Vineyard Table

Wente Vineyard's Carolyn Wente shares a pairings recipe from her cookbook.

By Jan Walsh

Most cooks match the wine to the food. But Carolyn Wente matches the food and recipes to Wente's Livermore Valley, California wines. She spent a day in the kitchen trying to create a white meat recipe that would pair well with Wente Merlot. And from her cookbook, Sharing the Vineyard Table, Wente shares her pairing advice and recipe for Wente Vineyards 20006 Crane Ridge Merlot.

Read More...


Solaire Chardonnay and Grilled Salmon

Robert Mondavi loved wine—and pairing wine with food.

By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson


For pairing with Solaire by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, winemaker Rick Boyer enjoys a 
grilled salmon with dilled mustard glaze.

Read More...


Peak Pairings

Who says there is no such thing as a perfect pairing?

By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson


Terlato Wine Group has three: Angels’ Peak and lamb chops, Devils’ Peak with deviled pork chops, and Cardinals’ Peak with penne with Cognac.

Read More...


Sam's Lamb

Terra Valentine winemaker shares his favorite Valentine pairing.

By Jan Walsh

Winemaker and general manager, Sam Baxter shares his culinary talents and pairing advice. Terra Valentine’s flagship wine, the 2004 Spring Mountain District Cabernet, is a blend of their two estates. “This wine showcases our terroir in a rich, forward style that is softer than our single vineyards.  It is best consumed three to eight years from the vintage,” Baxter says. “Pair that with my own recipe for leg of lamb.” If you like his wine, you will love it paired with his lamb.

Read More...


Dining In Wine Country

Guests at The Vintage Estate are steps away from some of the world’s finest restaurants.

By Jan Walsh


Guests at The Vintage Estate can dine out every night of the week at a different restaurant that is within walking distance of their Villagio Inn and Spa and The Vintage Inn.

Read More...


Peter's Pairings

Pair Charles Krug wines with your Thanksgiving meal.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Peter Mondavi, Jr. loves to cook and serve wine with his food. But he does not stress over wine pairings—not even for Thanksgiving. “People get concerned about wine pairings. But it is not that big of a deal. The really tricky ones are chocolate, spicy dishes, sweets and acidic foods,” Mondavi says.

Read More...


Not So Subtle Nuances

Consider both a dish’s components and cooking method for wine pairing.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Pairing is rarely a simple matter of food plus wine equals perfection. There can be many nuances of a dish that effect how it pairs with a wine. The core product, ingredients, spices, and cooking method all combine to create a dish. And then comes the addition of finishing oils, spices, sauces and table condiments.

Read More...


Sweet Italy

Whip up a Cake of Fruits for an Italian dessert wine pairing.

By Jan Walsh

For dessert pairings the wine should be as sweet or sweeter than the dessert. This tried and true rule holds for Maculan’s Torcolato Breganze DOC 2004 and fruity dessert pairing. But in the family’s kitchen, Angela Maculan doesn’t just pair a dessert wine with a Cake of Fruits, she also uses the wine in the recipe.

Read More...


Red, White, and Beringer

All American wines pair with Fourth of July celebrations.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

As the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley, Beringer Vineyard’s wines make a traditional match for July’s feast of foods.

Read More...


Caviar Dreams

Champagne Gardet marries well with wedding reception fare.

By Jan Walsh

Lift a flute of Champagne to toast the bride and groom. And keep that flute for the fare that follows. From the wedding toast to the groom’s cake pairing, Champagne is the life of the wedding reception party.

Read More...


Pairing Primer

This Food and Wine 101 is a fresh start for pairings.

By Jan Walsh

For over a year this Pairings column has covered Birmingham chefs' favorite food and wine pairings from their restaurant menus. Now it is time to take what has been experienced and apply it. This month goes back to the basics of food and wine pairings. And each month afterwards wines covered in Spirits will be paired here.

Read More...


The Perfect Bite

Brock's fine wines and artesian cheeses are made for each other.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Wine and cheese make a popular, traditional pairing. They are both products of fermentation. Each reflects its terroir-or it should. They come in many styles. And they both age until a peak and then begin to decline. Yet the two can be quite difficult to match.

Read More...


Just Desserts

Chris Hastings bakes an apple croustade deserving of Schramsberg's Crémant Demi-sec.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Dessert wine pairings are among the most challenging. Some uncork this dilemma by pairing a dessert wine that is sweeter than the dessert-such as a port with chocolate or a Sauterne with crème brûlée. Others just leave the pairing to the professionals as was recently done at Hot & Hot's Schramsberg Wine Dinner.

Read More...


Champagne and Vegetable Terrine

For hot summer months, Satterfield's offers a refreshing, chilled pairing.

by Jan Walsh

Champagne shouldn't be saved for a celebration. Champagnes and sparklers are among the most food friendly of wines. Not only are they the only wines commonly served for brunch, lunch, and dinner, they make everyday fare special, without overpowering more complex cuisines.

Read More...


Pizza Pie and Italian Wine

Pizza meets its match.

By Jan Walsh

Photography Beau Gustafson

Serving wines with foods of the same region is as easy as Italian wines with pizza pie. A piping hot pizza may bring to mind big reds, such as Brunello, Barolo, Barbera or Chianti. Yet during the warmer months, Italian whites make for better pizza pairings.

The Vernaccia is a refreshing crisp white that is medium bodied with a great floral nose. I would recommend this wine to enjoy by itself or to pair with light sauces, in particular our white sauce.

Read More...


The Salad and Wine Challenge

Frank Stitt pairs a French wine with his latest creation-pheasant salad.

By Jan Walsh

Once pairing wine with dinner simply meant matching fish with white, meat with red, and regional foods with local wine. Although these are still appropriate pairings, today's fusion of ethnic and regional cuisines and the array of ever evolving wines lead to more confusion than perfect matches. So learn about pairings from the professionals-Birmingham's chefs and sommeliers. Each month this new column, "Pairings" will match food and wine in local restaurants.

Read More...


Comfort Food and Hearty Wine

Pair Bandol blend with classic casoulet.

By Jan Walsh

As winter wanes, many are comforted by the simply prepared dishes remembered from childhood-comfort food. Chicken pot pie, pot roast and other hearty fare combine a number of ingredients and slow cook, filling the kitchen with warmth and comforting aromas. Even better than memories of meatloaf, today's comfort foods often include more sophisticated ingredients, cutting edge techniques learned from television chefs, and they pair well with wine.

Read More...

      Privacy Policy       Terms of Use