In the spirit of Drink Wine With Dinner® Month (*Click Here* for more, and check out my other August blog posts too), I thought we could start exploring the types of wines that go well with the foods that Americans, at least, eat most often.
And later in the post, I’ll steer you toward a free, fun, *foolproof* system for putting together great pairings of your own…
Have you ever grabbed something quick and easy for dinner ~ maybe something pre-cooked and “fast food-ish” ~ and have someone (jump on the ol’ high horse and) insist “You can’t serve wine with that! Just gimme a beer!!!”?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Well, that sure raises *my* hackles! Not because I don’t like beer. (I do. And I’d make sure that person got one!)
But because of the unspoken assumption that, unfortunately, reigns as the norm in the US ~ that wine is “too special” or “too snooty” to drink with burgers, tacos, hot dogs, pizza, casseroles.
Or even to drink *every day*. With *everyday* food as well as “special” food.
*That* is what bugs me! Because there aren’t many “good eats” out there (as Alton Brown might say) that a nice glass of vino won’t add to.
Being of Italian descent, I grew up with Mediterranean attitudes toward wine with food. As people do in the wine-producing countries of Europe (e.g. Italy, Spain, France), I viewed wine with dinner, at least several nights a week, as a mainstream family tradition.
My mom was a terrific cook. But even when dinner was store-bought pot pies, she and my dad would bring out the wineglasses and pour themselves something from the big bottle in the pantry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Which brings me to today’s “What Goes With X” pairing:
Ribs. I *loooove* ribs. And I hardly ever (well, um, *never*) cook them from scratch.
But I’ve been to plenty of BBQ-type picnics ~ even at wineries ~ where ribs are on the menu and top-tier wine is in the glass.
Also, some commercial brands do a good enough job with ribs that I pick some up pretty often from my local market’s deli case or freezer.
So, why do people assume that wine with ribs is a no-no?
Blame it on the sauce. It’s not the meat itself ~ pork can make great traditional pairings with lots of different wines. The so-called culprits here are the sweetness and hot spice of traditional BBQ blends, and perhaps also the vinegar that some styles of sauce call for.
None of these will cause problems, though, if you use a light hand, and if you look for particular features in the wine. And as promised, I’ll show you why, using “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules of Food and Wine Pairing“ (*Click Here* to download your free copy).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I’d never tried this ’07 Spanish Rioja before, but I figured it would be medium-bodied (like pork ~ the “Equal Strength” non-rule) and show some smoky flavors from age (the “Similarity” non-rule, matching the smoky sauce).
Also, there were enough fruit aromatics in the wine to counter the mildly peppery BBQ spice, which uses the “Contrast non-rule.”
BTW, I could just as easily have opened a medium-weight Zinfandel or Rhone-style red such as a Grenache blend. Or, for a chilled option, a rosé.
Off to the market now to see what’s new and interesting. I’ll be back very soon with another fun pairing ~
Cheers and best wishes,
PS ~ Once again, please be sure to grab your *free download* of “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules for Wine and Food Pairing” ~ it’s the best way I know to help you make the foods *you* love taste even better!
And please feel free to email me at Rosina@RosinaWilson.com with comments or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!