Marit's Wine & Spirit Pairings
On The Shows:
I made this easy recipe for my picky husband and he loved
it. These are definate Spanish flavors in this popular Cuban
dish, so I thought a A Spansih White wine would be
perfect. I like Marques de Caceres 2010. Dry Wiite Rioja
wine at $5.99. This wine is made from Viura Grapes that
produce a crisp, clean and slightly final profile. Enjoy -
Who Doesn't love Pad Thai? I think this is a really easy
flavorful dish. The best pairing for this exotic flavors is a
Voignier. This French varietal has a nice acidity balanced
with floral, fruity notes and is a suprising dry finish. I like
Honeymoon Viosner at $5.99 or Blue Fin Viosner at
$3.99 at Trader Joes. Great Bargins.
So Since we're having a luau, we need a good Hawaiian
beer to "Wet our Whistles". When I tried the Wailua
Wheat Ale with Passion Fruit by Kona Brewing
Company, I knew it would be great with our rich and
smokey pork. The passion fruit is so subtle that you might
not pick up the flavor but what it does for this ale is
I brought Aquavit and beer for pairings because that is the
traditional Scandanavian accompaniment to this popular
dish. Aquavit in an extrememly strong spirit distilled with
caraway, anise or other botanicals. Because of its high
alcohol content, aquavit is used for toasting while beer is
used as the berevage for the meal. Try to find a
Scandanavian beer if you can so you can have the full
experience - Skol!
Spanish Tempranillo is a great pairing for this dish, I like
La Granja 360 Tempranillo from Trader Joes at $3.99.
The Tempranillo grape is native to Spain and produces
medium to full bodied wines with powerful tannins and
flavors of raspberry and spice. Since puerco pabil is a rich,
flavorful dish it needs a full, tannic wine to stand up to it -
Marit's Brief Guide to
Chardonnay: The Most popular white
varietal, produces a dry to medium-dry wine
with pear, apple or tropical flavors. When
Chardonnay is oaked it tends to be more
creamy and buttery, but if left unoaked, it
produces a crisper wine that is more fresh on
Sauvignon Blanc: These wines tend to be
dry with tropical, citrus or apple notes. These
crisp, light bodied wines can take on grassy
or green pepper flavors, especially the wines
produced in New Zealand.
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris: Italy's most
popular white, this varietal produces crisp,
light bodies wines with apple, pear notes.
Reislings: Mostly sweeter style wine
with bracing acidity. These varietals
contain floral or peach notes. I enjoy the
dryer style Reislings from the Alscace
region of France
Viognier: Dry to the palate, these wines
offer up abundant fruit flavors of apricot
and peach. Viognier can be very
complex and lush, definately worth
Gewurtztraminer: Decidedly spicy, this
grape also offers big exotic flavors of lychee
and peach. Gewurtztraminer ranges from crisp
and fruity to late harvest style dessert wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon: The world's most
popular red varietal, this wine can offer many
flavors including, currants, black cherries,
chocolate and leather. Cabs, come in a variety
of styles from lighter and easy drinking to big
dense full bodied wines. Be sure to ask your
wine purveyor for suggestions that will
coordinate with your own palate.
Merlot: Mostly soft and fruit forward in
style, this varietal offers plum, currant and
berry notes with hints of oak derived from
barrel aging. With externded aging, Merlot
takes on vanilla and pepper notes as well.
Pinot Noir: A medium to full bodied wine.
Pinot Noir offers cherry, spice and oakey
vanilla notes. In the hands of a great vinter,
Pinot Noir can become silky and complex in
short; a revelation. Be sure to ask for help in
selecting just the right bottle.
Syrah/Shiraz: Syrah is called Shiraz in
Australia but both offer dense berry and
violet flavors. With further aging this wine
takes on very complex earth, tar and spice
notes. Australia and the U.S. offer a more
intense style of wine that France does.
Zinfandel: This California varietal offers
spicy dark fruit flavors with mocha and oak
notes. Medium bodied to full, these notes
intensify as the wine is aged. Look for "Old
Vine" designations on the bottle to be sure
you are getting the finest Zin.
Pepit Sirah: Deep colored, full and
peppery, this wine has strong tannins
and appeals to those of us who prefer a
rich and hearty wine. Look for great
Petit Sirah's from California and you will
be rewarded with bold and complex
Malbec: This is Argentina's most
popular red varietal. This wine boasts
blackberry and dark fruit flavors with
bold tannins. In the mouth these giveway
to a bold, gutsy wine that is a perfect
pairing with roasted meats.
Tempranillo: This Spanish varietal
produces medium to full bodied wines
that are redolent with raspberry and
spices. When aged in oak, Tempranillo
takes on earthly, woody notes and
becomes more refined and elegant
Barbera: Native to the Piedmont region
of Italy, this lighter style wine has cherry
and spice notes and is crispy acidic.
Barbara's are perfect wines for Italian
cuisine, in particular those featuring
tomato based sauces.