Wine and Food Pairing: a casual backyard gathering...

Truth: wine is delicious

Truth: good food is a must

Truth: getting together with friends on a beautiful day is...priceless!

Concept: marry all three into one great evening!!

Menu: Bourbon Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Bacon and Garlic Sauteed Green Beans

Spinich Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Fresh Baked Yeast Rolls

Now you might ask, what in the world of wine will go with this menu? Relax, it doesn't have to be that hard!! Do away with the old narrative of white wine with poultry and fish and red wine with meat. Pairing great wines with great food need not adhere to such a strict regimen. In fact, we have a saying in our home, drink what you like!! And that goes for wine and food pairing as well. While there are some truths to what does and does not go with certain wines, there is a lot more flexibility to wine and food pairing than you may have thought. Chicken for example, traditionally has been paired with white wines. It was thought that the delicate flavor of the bird would not stand up to nor be complemented by a red wine. Ahhhh, but here is the catch. What about a chicken dish that is marinated in a brown sugar bourbon glaze and grilled with applewood smoking chips? Smoke and bourbon are not light flavors and when applied to a hardy chicken quarter they are robust and demand to be treated with the proper attention that a red wine can provide. An earthy Pinot Noir or a smooth and rich Merlot are easily enjoyed with this dish. Add on the creaminess of the mac n' cheese, flavorful green beans sauteed with bacon, and a spinich salad with a bright, vinaigrette dressing, and you have a flavor profile that is anything but light and delicate. You have a hardy meal worth a hardy wine. So, don't be shy when it comes to pairing wine with food. Think more along the lines of whether or not the dish is light and delicate or hardy and rich and then think about a wine that might complement that menu. There are many wines that would pair well and it is up to you to start exploring the possibilities. And at the end of the day...drink what you like!!

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