Spring is upon us and thoughts begin turning toward warm weather, outdoor activities and enjoying some relaxation on our decks, porches, patios and/or in our backyards. Likewise, cookouts and picnics come to the forefront. Some of the recipes presented by our two dancing buckeyes are perfect for such activities, such as the salads, dips, soups, chicken dishes, desserts and on and on. And, of course, we should have our favorite beverages, which may include wine. Wine pairs wonderfully with the foods of picnics and barbeques. Wine is also a necessary accessory in the grilling process. There are so many great choices of wine, at reasonable prices, and lots of flexibility for varying tastes and preferences. Also, it is not that difficult to take a bottle or two of wine on a picnic, outdoor concert, etc. (where legally permitted, of course). The bottles can be chilled, in advance, and easily transported. There are convenient carriers for one or two wine bottles which you should add to your wine accessories.
In this offering, I will suggest some wines that I believe will pair well with some of the suggestions from the TDBs. Of course, such suggestions are just “one person’s opinions” and you must always remember: all that really matters is what YOU like. However, there is generally some rationale to the concepts of what wines work well with what foods. The object is for the food and the wine to complement each other. I like to look for a wine that will not overwhelm the food and, likewise, one the taste of which will not be lost to the food. For example, with some fresh fruit, mild cheese and crackers, something such as a chilled sauvignon blanc will do very nicely. However, with a spicy dip, breads and various meats you may find a heartier red wine to be more suitable. People’s taste buds vary, so it is not an exact science and achieving a balanced pairing is sometimes a difficult task. It may require a little experimentation.
Recent food suggestions from the Two Dancing Buckeyes and my thoughts on wines to go with them:
Cucumber Crunch Salad — a dry white, such as a chardonnay, or a moderate red such as a malbec.
Taco Layer Dip — a more robust red such as a tempranillo.
Crab and Corn Chowder — a moderate white, perhaps a viognier, or a lighter red such as a pinot noir, perhaps even a rosé, as you may wish.
Cilantro-Tomato Sauce Over Chicken — a tough one, how do you feel? Maybe a hearty red, to balance the sauce. There’s no right or wrong here (or anywhere, for that matter).
Spinach Salad — I would prefer a nice, chilled pinot gris with this simple, but tasty salad.
Crudité Platter — Lots of opportunity here, but how about a nice chilled rosé on a warm summer evening.
Black Bean Burgers — I’d go with a cabernet on this, while preparing the burgers on the grill. Sounds great!
Desserts — break out the bubbly to wind down the evening. Enjoy.