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Best Wine and Food Pairings for your Valentine’s Day Dinner

Valentine's Day WineValentine’s Day – it’s a Holiday unlike any other. The traditional autumn and winter Holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years revolve around lots of family, friends, food, and parties. The summer Holidays of Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day bring visions of parties, picnics, BBQ, and swimming.

Valentine’s Day is unique though. It’s usually not about large groups. It’s meant for two. It’s about romance and rediscovering each other. On Valentine’s Day, three or more is truly a crowd (unless you are into that sort of thing) but like all the other Holidays, a great Valentine’s Day often involves a carefully prepared meal – perhaps a candlelit dinner or romantic picnic.

But have you ever asked yourself, “What wines pair best with food for Valentine’s Day?” Pairing wine with a Valentine’s Day meal offers a different challenge than the other Holidays. Large groups of people go through large amounts of wine (at least at my house they do) so you can bring out an array of wines to match each course. An intimate dinner for two usually won’t involve three or four bottles though, so planning a Valentine’s day meal with wine to accompany it can be tricky.

That’s why we’re here to help!

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Super Bowl Party Foods and Wine: A Perfect Pairing

Super Bowl Party Foods and Wine PairingSuper Bowl Sunday is approaching, and with it comes an unofficial American holiday of eating, drinking, and spending time with friends. And commercial watching, of course. Whether your team is in the big game or not, there’s a good chance that you’ll be spending Super Bowl Sunday with food and an adult beverage (perhaps many beverages) in your hand.  Why not make that beverage, a great glass of wine?

So what do you do when you show up to a Super Bowl party and need to pair typical football food fare with wine? Is there anything that pairs perfectly with nachos and chicken wings? Well … Not exactly perfectly, but there are wines that will pair better than others.

So join us as we look at pairing our favorite wines with some of the typical food found during a Super Bowl party. Use this as a guide to game plan for a party, and you’ll be promised to be this Sunday’s Super Bowl MVP … Most Valuable Purveyor!

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Holiday Food & Wine Pairings: Pairing Holiday Desserts and Wines

It’s the “final course” of our Holiday Food & Wine Pairing blog feature. After helping educate readers on general wine pairing tips, and specifics on pairing with appetizer dishes and main courses, we’re now ready to bring it all home with everyone’s favorite topic … Desserts!

Cookies and WineDepending on your sweet tooth, this is either the finishing touch to a great meal or the heroic climax to which the rest of the meal was just a prelude. I fall into the light component although Karen strongly feels that a Holiday meal includes the dessert as the most important part of the repast.

Desserts are the most difficult to pair with wines. There is a finite list of wines that really shine as a compliment to dessert. I think matching sweetness of the dessert and the wine is the hardest part of planning a meal.

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Holiday Food & Wine Pairings: Pairing Wine with Holiday Main Courses

Welcome to part three of our Holiday Food & Wine Pairing blog feature. After offering some general tips, and covering pairing wines with Holiday appetizers, we focus today on pairing traditional Holiday entrees with wines.

Wine Pairings with Holiday MealsThe “Main Course” … The highlight of the meal! Most wine pairing guides will focus on pairing your wine with the main dish but keep in mind that your side dishes can also enhance or battle the taste of your choice in wine. If wine is an important part of your meal, then treat the wine as another “dish” and plan it just like you would any side dish that is designed to compliment your main dish.

Loosen your belt a notch, scoot your chair in, and get ready for the highlight of the meal. And, of course, some great wines!

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Holiday Food & Wine Pairings: Pairing Wine with Holiday Appetizers

Welcome to part two of our Holiday Food & Wine Pairing blog feature. Today, the focus is on pairing some of the traditional Holiday Appetizers with wines.

Wine and Appetizer Pairing

General Rules for Pairing Appetizers with Wines

  • Choose lighter wines to start. Starting with a heavy wine destroys your palate’s ability to detect the subtlety of a lighter wine. Crisp white wines and dry Rose’s are a good place to start. If you’re not sure what I mean, take a few sips of a big meaty Cabernet Sauvignon and then try a few sips of a Pinot Grigio. Your palate will likely be overwhelmed by the remaining tannins and fruit from the Cab, effectively rendering the Pinot Grigio tasteless.
  • If you don’t like white wines, then start with lighter Red wines like Pinot Noir.
  • When serving appetizers, follow the general guidelines in part one of our post Holiday Food & Wine Pairing blog post.
  • Be careful pairing creamy sauces and soups with white wines. Many lighter wines are higher in acid and will react with the cream. Look to white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier or Roussanne to compliment these sauces because they have softer, less acidic tastes so they pair well with cream sauces.

Now, onto the appetizer pairings!

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Food & Wine Pairings: First, Know the Basics

Food and Wine PairingPairing Wines With Any Great Meal

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first timer, if you are planning to serve wine with a fine meal, serving the right type of wine can’t be overstated. Below, we’ve provided some general terms and guidelines along with some handy links that are good to have at your fingertips.

Once you’ve read through this, check out our next three posts that describe more details for paring wines with:

  • Appetizers
  • Main Courses
  • Desserts

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