As a child of restaurateur parents, I have always loved a great bottle of wine. It’s taken me a while, but I am pretty good at choosing the right bottle and am finally able to properly navigate the wine list when at dinner. I take a lot of pride in being asked to choose the wine when I’m out with friends.
That being said, I’m not the greatest when it comes to pairing wines. Up until more recently, I would just always choose a nice Pinot Noir, with the excuse that I’m a red wine girl, and that’s just what I like. Learning about wine pairing had always been on my list of things to do… I just never got around to it. It’s something I’ve been reading up on a lot lately (this article and this article are both must-reads if you are looking for a simple guide to pairing wines).
My two favorite rules for wine pairing are the easiest to remember. First, think about the weight of the wine. If you are eating something heavy (like a steak), pair it with a heavier wine (a cab or heavier body red). If you’re serving something lighter, like fish, go with a lighter red (Pinot Noir) or a white. Second, what grows together goes together. I love the idea of pairing local cheeses and wines, or even meats that are grown in the same region as the wine you are serving them with. Remembering just those two things can make all the difference.
More recently, I went to an event with Noble Vines a couple months ago, where I learned more about their wines… + sustainability mission. The vineyard is family owned and committed to treating the land as best as possible to ensure that it can continue to produce its beautiful wines into the future. On top of that, their wines are really affordable – and can be bought at Whole Foods (and many other places – just go here to find your nearest retailer). Today we’ve teamed up on a post, and I’ve asked them for all of their best wine pairing tips… enjoy!
I have never been a huge Chardonnay drinker (like I said, I’m a red wine girl) BUT I really do enjoy Noble Vines’ 446 Chardonnay. When you taste it, you’ll pick up notes of pear + pineapple… but it’s not TOO sweet. It’s medium in body and very drinkable (not too oaky, which I’ve found to be the case with a lot of Chardonnays that I’ve tried.
Like we talked about earlier, lighter wines pair best with lighter foods. In speaking with the team, they recommended pairing it with lighter dishes… think salad, pastas, and fish. Two recommendations they had were a pan fried tilapia (with an herb flour coating) and wrapping peach wedges with brie + prosciutto. So yummy!
Next, we have my usual go-to.. Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is typically your lightest of the red wines. Noble Vines’ 667 Pinot Noir has notes of black cherry + plum, and you can even taste the tiniest bit of cocoa powder. The winemaker actually cold soaks the crushed grapes for two to three days before beginning the wine making process.
The Noble team recommends pairing it with a simple grilled salmon with sweet potatoes (braise with olive oil and rosemary) or a portabello mushroom burger. I still believe that it goes well with absolutely anything and everything, though… even a heavier steak!
The One is Noble Vines’ own proprietary blend. While I love Pinot Noir, The One is actually my favorite of Noble’s wines. Medium in body, it’s full of blackberry and black cherry… but also a little bit spicy. The blend consists of Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. As this wine is so complex, it is best paired with richer foods. (Remember? A heavier wine goes best with richer, creamier foods!) The Noble Vines team recommended serving this with a grilled rib eye steak, or dry brined chicken stuffed with sausage and peppers.
Last but not least… another classic: Cabernet. Noble Vines’ 337 Cabernet has been rated a best buy (in 2011) and once again has that black cherry aroma… but this time, you can also smell a bit of currant, herbs, and coffee. So yummy. The cabernet berries are smaller than your typical grapes, so they hang on the vines for longer. This results in more concentrated flavor, making this the most full-bodied of wines. The team recommends pairing this with an herb crusted pork loin, grilled halibut or cod (with a nice béarnaise sauce), or a lamb chop with feta cheese.
Created in partnership with Noble Vines.