or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pairing Food and Wine › Wine for Thought... The A,B,Cs of Sucessful Global Wine Pairing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wine for Thought... The A,B,Cs of Sucessful Global Wine Pairing

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 


By: Margcata - Part 1 ...


24 People have read, and not a comment ... Chefs, Home Chefs, Let us hear, what do u drink !


1st and foremost, I would truly enjoy hearing from the Community on their views on wines A to Z ... Come on and share your stuff ...



To begin with, the 1st thing preschoolers learn is their ABC´s ... However, these A,B,Cs are for wine and food lovers ... Sort of an alphabetical mini global wine and food matching guide ... Hope this assists those lesser versed in the world of wine.   


Wines for Thought A To Z ...


A : Galician Albariños, Greek Assyrtikos and Burgundy Aligotes from the Bouzeron region of Burgundy produce a slightly fruity white wine with lovely tropical and / or floral aromas that are the perfect pairs for most hors d´oeuvres however, skip the tomatoes, too acidic. Furthermore,  Araujo Estate in Napa Valley produces rich, supple and world class Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Other selections for Letter A include: Altos La Hormigas, Argentina, which is managed by two Italians with 100 acres of the Malbec Grape in the Mendoza D.O.C. This is a plummy noble nosed red which pairs perfectly with steak, seared on flame or BBQ. Australian wines produce some lovely whites and of course, grape variety Shiratz ( reds ) too. The wineries worth taking a look at are: Frankland Estates, Elderton, Henschke, Jim Barry who produces a blockbuster Shiratz, Leasingham and Wolf Bass.   


B: Beaujolais, an exhuberant red pairs well with Bistro and Pub type dishes. Its bouquet and fruit couple well with stuffed roast Cornish game hens, chicken, basil herb dishes and pork.


C: Chianti, enhances the flavours of country hams, roast Virgina Ham for example. Down to earth dishes do not require a Reserva. A young Chianti shall be a perfect pair here. Another nice choice here are Chilean Casa Lapostolle wines under th label of Cuvée Alexandre, a fabulous Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon are produced. Their Merlot is full bodied with ripe intense fruit and a fine structure, made in the French tradition by the grand daughter of Gran Marnier. Prices are reasonable and easy on purse strings. California is a gold mine of wines, and has several appellations, including: Napa Valley, Sonoma and the Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley, Santa Barbara and Monterrey. In this SIDEWAYS era, it seems the central coast has sprung from the minds of Hollywood as a kind of a film back drop for vineyards. However, here are my recommendations: Santa Barbara Black Label Syrah Cuvee, Santa Rita Hills Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir and Ynez Valley Chardonnay. Diamond Creek is one of the loveliest Cabernet estates in California, however, due to its pricing, it is a special occasion wine. Also, beginning with Letter C is Chile, and Concha y Toro who turnout Cabernets, Casa Marín that produces Sauvignon Blanc and Carmen grows only organic reds are highly suggested and easy on purse strings.  


D: Sauvignon Blanc by Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley ... This citrusy white is a standout with deviled prawns and other spicy piquant dishes with cayenne, chili peppers and garlic.


E: Chardonnays from the Williamette Valley, Oregon ( Eyrie Winery ) produces a Burgundian style chard. The aromas and long finish are superb compliments to Eggplant, which is not an easy vegetable to matchmake. Also, wonderful with all your cheese platters, with its balanced acidity and fat cutting innate abilities. Furthermore, after years of ridicule, English wines, yes English wines, are finally being taken seriously and winning international awards. French Chef J. Christophe Novelli and I had met and taste tested over 20 ... Here is the latest scoop. Firstly, we shall begin with a White worthy of mention, called Surrey Gold which is rich in floral notes and fresh to the palate. At 6 Sterling Pounds per bottle, it is quite good. We had begun our trip in Kent, at Chapel Down Winery and it was quite idyllic even though a grey morning. This winery is becoming known for its Sparkling Red Wine. Unfortunately, British wines had some bad publicity and most of their wines had been called plonk. However, due to climatic change, this is all changing. Chef Novelli, who is well known had introduced me to the modest oenologist Owen Elias, who has been winemaking since 1992 at Chapel Down. He has won the U.K. Winemaker Award of the year four times. They had mentioned that they do not have to follow The Quality Control Appellation Laws, which gives them a free hand to be creative with their winemaking. This 25 acre wine region is worthy of sampling.   


F:  Fino ( Sherry ) and Foie Gras ... A dry nutty Sherry which is wonderful at cutting the richness of Foie is lovely here. Lustau Wineries creates an ultra refined Sherry. Letter F pays homage to France and some of its finest wines to date include: Domaine des Baumard which produces Chenin Blanc in the Loire, Georges Duboeuf who has created some lovely fruity Beaujolais and for racy Pouilly Fumé, de Ladoucette Winery.


G: Goat Cheese ... The Graves Winery from Bordeaux, produce a white, a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon grape varieties bringing out the voluptouous.ness of these type of cheeses. It is dry yet floral in notes. The Letter G brings to mind, Greece, which is one of my favourite cuisines and one of my favourite countries. Argyros Wine Estate which was founded in 1903 and The Boutari Winery, founded in 1879 are two of the well known wine producers.These enological treasures include: Santorini Ktima, Santorini Canava, Santorini Atlantis and Santorini, Macedonia Evinos, Archanes Skalani to name a few. Argyros exports via Sotiris Bafitis Selections in Washington D.C. and Boutari exports through Paterno Wines International, Lake Bluff, illinois: wwww. boutari.gr   


H:  Hanger Steak ... The Syrah grape can stand up to most cuts of rare beef and well marbled steak cuts flavoured with herbs. Suggestion: Guigal or Jean Luis Chave. Furthermore, a Malbec Mono Varietal from Argentina is lovely here too.


I: Iron Horse ... With a faint appley finish, their Rosé sparkling wines, work nicely with spicy cuisines, for example, Mexican, Peruvian, Thai and Vindaloo or Madras from southern India. Another fabulous selection  beginning with the Letter " i " is Canadian Icewines. They are a bit pricey due to minimal production however, very worthy for special occasions. Italy is a sea of wine as Spain, and the Mediterranean in general. For Chianti Classico, Marchesi Antinori Wine Estates is highly regarded. Furthermore, Bruno Giacosa who owns 37 acres in Piedmont, produces the renowned Barolo and Barbaresco. With so much to sample, it would take me a life time to write about each and every wine I have ever tasted. So, let us move on to the next letter.


J ... Jalepeños and Jura ... The French Swiss frontier mountainous region of Jura produces some of the loveliest dry whites which pair awesomely with breaded or grilled jalepeños, Galician Padrón peppers and other piquant pickies.


K... Karakuchi Sake ... This chilled Sake marries perfectly with sushi, sashimi, a maki, tempura prawns and spicy shellfish and seafood appetisers.


L ... Lombardy, Italia has an array of reds and whites. Laguna fish, from the Lake Garda region is a specialty of this zone. The brands I recommend are: Visconti Bianco, NV Ca´del Bosco Franciacorta and Villa Gardi Bianco. Reds of quality in Lombardy include: Ca´ del Bosco and Bellavista Solestine.  


M ... To start off with, there are many notable grape varieties that begin with the Letter " m " .

However, to narrow down a sommelier´s diary, I shall begin with the following: The French Chardonnay from the Macon Region is pleasantly acidic and marries with just about all that swims. Red Grape varieties I suggest are: 100% Malbec D.O. Argentina and 100%  Mencia from Ribera Sacra, Lugo, Spain and León, Spain, and Merlot from California. The most interesting fact to date is that Chef Ross located in Lake Huron, Michigan, mentioned that the Traverse City Area, where Chef Mario Batali has a summer home, is becoming very well known for its Rieslings. We shall have to get a few bottles over to Madrid !  


N ... The misty wineyards of Piedmont, Italia produce the muscular red Barolo and Gattinara grape varieties. These grape varieties pair perfectly with bold dishes, including, chili con carne, beef and bean stews and cassoulet or feijoada. New Zealand and Napa Valley are the N´s. Both of these wine appellations, once again are enormous and thus, a few bottlings, I have tried over in Madrid are:  Diamond Creek, Duckhorn and Elyse from Napa Valley. Hailing from N.Z. I would recommend: Craggy Range.  


O ... Ollauri is a place, not a wine ... This Rioja Alta wine zone makes plummy reds that cry out for dishes with olives, chicken and feathered game. Beronia of Ollauri is a lovely one.



Letters P ... The letter P stands for Portugal and Priorat, Catalonia. Portugal is no longer standing in the shadows of its neighbor Spain. Portugal produces lively dynamic wines all on its own. Some of the wines hailing from Portugal include: Vinho Verde Loureiro which is similar in aromas and taste to a Galician Albariño. Aveleda Winery on the Atlantic coast, a nesting ground for Goose Barnacles ( percebes in Spanish and Portugal ), has converted this zone into White wine country to accompany the divinely fresh shellfish and fish caught or netted off these coasts. These whites are reasonably priced and are imported into the U.S.A. by Tri Vin Imports, Mount Vernon, New York State. Priorat, is a boutique wine producing zone of Tarragona. This is the star region for Spanish wines, as these grapes are grown on steep slate slopes or terraces and are producing full bodied reds worthy of international wine challenge awards. Recommended from Priorat are:  Cesca Vincent Priorat Lo Piot and Costers Del Siurana Winery´s Priorat Clos de I´ Obac.  


Letter Q... Quail ... What to sip with quail ?  A Quinta Da Aveleda pairs well with numerous dishes that contain garlic, almonds and/or mint herb, requiring an easy going white like Portuguese Green Wines. One can also opt for a red, from Bodegas Montecillo, La Rioja or a Rosé ( rosado).


R ... Russian River Valley and the Rhône ... The Rhône reds have the structure and guts to standup to Roquefort and wild boar, venison and milk fed baby lamb. Châteauneuf du Pape

from the southern zone and Russian River reds from California as well as Toro, Zamora, Spanish 100% Tempranillos, all are just the right reds for sipping in wintertime. Expert, guru and wizard, Oenologist Mariano García, renowned for his expertise in producing Vega Sicilia, one of the best Spanish wines, now is chief over at his own winery in Toro, called Bodegas Dos Mauros. All wines hailing from this wine estate in San Román, Toro are highly recommended. His son Eduardo has joined him in the Export side of the business too. Ribera de Duero in Spain is one of the finest red wine producing zones on the old continent. Prado Del Rey, Protos, Alejandro Fernández´s Pesquera, Vega Sicila and Pingus, are renowned for their noble nosed oak aged wines and Reservas. Robert Parker is quite a regular client of these wineries amongst others.


S ...Sémillon, a New Zealand grape variety creates an unusual white all on its own. This variety is superb with oysters on the half shell and dishes made with saffron, for example, Spanish rice dishes called Paellas. Sonoma whites can marry well with fresh shellfish too.


T ... Tokaj with tropical fruit ... A Hungarian dessert wine called Tokaj is absolutely lovely with mango, papaya, maracuya is Passion fruit, the impeccable prickly cactus variety,  pithaya  which is similar to a Kiwi on the interior, except it is red or white with black tiny edible seeds and hails from Mexico and pineapple. A match made in heaven.


U ... A Riesling called Urziger Würzgarten in the hamlet of Urzig, Germany is a lovely spicy white which works lovely with Japanese Udon or Italian angel hair or linguini. This Riesling pairs well with piquant cuisines.


V.. Vietnamese cuisine collaborates well with wines hailing from the grape called Chenin Blanc. They are acidic and fruity which give them the ability to work with many cuisine types. Very versatile too, are the Albariños, both Galician and Portuguese and Chilean whites or Rosés.


W ... Washington State white wines and Austrian Wachau Rieslings 

pair impeccably with grilled thick white asparagus stalks. They round off the the vegetable´s slight bitterness.


X ... Xères ... The French word for Sherry, or Jérez in Spanish, is the perfect pair for foods which are fried and / or sautéed in generous quantities of extra virgin olive oil or olive oil.


Y ... Hailing from Rioja Álavesa, in the Basque Country, 15 km from Logroño, La Rioja, is a winery called Ysios. This plummy, full bodied, noble nosed red is memorable with its long finish.

Letter Y also stands for Sauterne d ´ Yquem which is a complex French white

that marries red tuna sashimi and foie gras phenomenaly.


Z ... Zinfandel ... An American grape variety, pairs extraordinairely with cassolas of shellfish and seafood.


*** If you have any further questions about food and wine pairing, please do not hesitate to ask.


Happy Holidays to all,



Edited by margcata - 12/7/11 at 7:38am
post #2 of 3

Are you trying to get the same letter on both sides of the pairing?  It's an interesting challenge.  Lots of tasty ideas here.  

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 





Firstly, you are quite observant ... detail oriented ... Keen.


There are some grape varieties or wine types that correspond to alot of alphabet letters ( C for example, Chardonnay, Cava, Champagne, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, etcetra ) and then there are the Producers too, and call Brand names too  ... and then, there are some countries that correlate --- California and Chile for example...


and since  there are so many wine producing  countries due to climatic change and then, England for example. Then there are uncountable grape varieties -- I tried my hardest to pair wines from each of the world´s Designations ( appellations ) ... I could write a book, so yes, very challenging as a Blog which is alot shorter than Print Media, magazine writing or newspaper writing which is I work in ...


Thanks so much for your positive feedback.

Pleased that you have found some tasty combinations too ! Let me know about my little blog on Ales...  


Happy Holidays,


Edited by margcata - 12/7/11 at 8:25am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pairing Food and Wine
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pairing Food and Wine › Wine for Thought... The A,B,Cs of Sucessful Global Wine Pairing