Wine and Food Pairings (Inspired by Newsday)
Today, for Valentine’s Day, Newsday ran a nice little piece, “Perfect Pairings,” about wine and food pairings. But they missed an opportunity, which Nofowineaux will attempt to remedy. For example, they mentioned Peconic Bay oysters, but not the Long Island wines one could drink with them. So what follows is my own list of the foods and types of wines they mentioned, updated with my own recommendations of local wines to use.
- Roast chicken
Newsday says have pinot noir or an oaked chardonnay. I say, try Castello Borghese’s or McCall’s pinot noir, or Castello’s oaked chardonnay.
- Pasta with a Bolognese sauce
Chianti would be perfect, of course, and it is made with the sangiovese grape, which is found on Long Island in a few places. Try the sangiovese from Pugliese, or the Meritage from Laurel Lake, a blend that includes sangiovese.
They say a steel fermented chardonnay or a rosé. Of course, as soon as I hear rosé, I think of Croteaux, which has lovely dry Provençal-style rosés. For a steel chard, my favorite is Channing Daughters Scuttlehole Chardonnay.
- Chicken Tikka Masala
Aside from my own kitchen, I don’t know anywhere on the North Fork to get Indian food. When I make Indian food (as I did last night, making curried cauliflower and cucumber raita), I like to pair it with a slightly sweet white, which is also what Newsday suggests. They say use a gewürztraminer, and you have three good options on the North Fork: Osprey’s Dominion, Coffee Pot Cellars, or, my preference, One Woman. We drank Meditazione from Channing Daughters, a delicious orange wine made from a blend that includes gewürztraminer.
- Roasted White Fish
There are lots of good options for white fish fillets at Braun’s, and there’s almost always cod. Newsday suggests a sauvignon blanc. Almost every winery has a drinkable sauvignon blanc, but I prefer Channing Daughters to most of the others. It is nicely dry, but has enough fruit to give it taste. Other good ones: Diliberto’s, Duck Walk, Clovis Point, and Coffee Pot Cellars.
- Rib-Eye Steak
Two sources of good beef are Wayside Market and 8 Hands (though 8 Hands doesn’t always have beef—check their web page or call before you go). As to wines, Newsday recommends either a cabernet sauvignon or a sparkling wine (and many people believe sparkling wines go with everything). Big reds are in short supply on the North Fork, but Laurel Lake has a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve that’s pretty good. Sparkling Pointe, of course, only makes sparkling wines. Their Brut Magnum is lovely, but if you don’t care to buy a huge bottle you could try Roanoke Vineyard’s sparkling wine.
In general, I like sauvignon blancs with oysters. I find the lemony taste of the wine complements the bivalves very nicely. They suggest a Muscadet or a sparkling wine. You might try the Sherwood House blanc de blancs, or one of the above suggestions.
- Cauliflower Steak
As Newsday notes in its article, it is often hard to pair wine and vegetables. They suggest a grüner veltliner with this dish, and I agree. One Woman makes a grüner that is one of my favorite North Fork whites.
As with all suggested wine and food pairings, personal taste is paramount. If you just don’t like red wines or white wines (but why?), just go with what you like. A light red can go with fish or chicken, and a heavy white, like an oaked chardonnay, can go with meats. However, I can’t picture having any white with steak. Instead, have a beer! Happy Valentine’s Day.