Over the past few months, there are a few things that many Off the Grid employees have taken to while sheltering in place, such as learning how to cook new dishes, strictly sticking to supporting takeout Tuesday (and many other days of the week), and learning how to pick the perfect wine to pair with their favorite meals.
Have you ever ordered takeout from your favorite food truck or cooked a delicious dinner for your family and friends, but weren’t sure what wine pairs well with your meal? We sat down with our friends at Anarchist Wine Co. last week to get their tips and tricks on picking the perfect wine to pair with your food.
1. “Dealers choice”
It comes down to what you like. The great thing about wine and food is that it’s totally subjective. Maybe you like a big Cabernet blend with your poké, while your friend prefers a dry, acidic white wine. Who’s to say you’re wrong… it’s what tastes good to you, so be loud and proud and pair how you like!
2. “Sparkling Wine is a palate cleanser and pairs with a wide variety of food”
An easy default, especially for appetizers and light bites, is Sparkling Wine. It’s one of those wines that is always good to have on hand in the fridge. Note that we specifically mentioned sparkling wine, as in Champagne or a wine made in the same manner as Champagne. If you get into Prosecco, Demi-Sec or Frizzante, you will have to battle the sugar in those wines, and will throw off your palate.
3. “Rules of the seafood game: white wines tend to pair best with lighter foods such as green veggies and fish; steer clear of red wine and fish, for the most part, unless it’s a rich, not-so-fishy fish.”
When it comes to pairing the perfect wine with fish, it’s best to steer clear of red wines. Even on the fishy fish, you’ll want to avoid anything bigger than a Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, or Beaujolais.
4. “Adding wine while you are cooking is a good lead-in to what will pair with it”
If it’s light, then go with white. If it’s fatty, you’ll need an acidic wine to balance it. If it’s got char, you’ll need some structure based in acid and tannins to help boost the flavor. Let’s say you’re sautéing light veggies for a fish or scampi, you’ll want to add a dry white to the pan to add some flavor and to create steam in the pan, reducing the potential of overcooking the veggies. Sautéing mushrooms to pair with a ribeye? You’ll want to use a tannic Cabernet or Merlot in the pot, then enjoy a glass with your meal.
5. “What grows together, goes together”
Like Italian pasta and a Tuscan Sangiovese, start by thinking of the land or region where a dish comes from, and the varietals from that region will likely pair well with that dish. There really is no substitute for following what natives in each region have been pairing with their food for generations. When thinking in this manner, it’s best to consider some of the prominent grape-growing regions (Italy, France, Napa Valley, Santa Barbara County, etc.). Anarchist ranked this tip at 5 as it’s the easiest way to choose a pairing. It doesn’t take much work, only a bit of romantic thought on some of the most lovely food and wine geographic areas in the world.
Why wonder what pairs best? We had our partners at Anarchist help pair some of our favorite cuisines with some of their flavorful favorites wines. With Anarchist’s extensive variety of unique blends, they have a wine selection that goes with any dish you’re craving.
Off the Grid Creator partners: Mozzeria or A16
Pairing suggestions that are out of this world for Pizza: Anarchist Wine Co. 2017 Rage Against the Machine & Foundry Wines 2015 Eidola (Tuscan inspired blend)
Off the Grid Creator partners: Momo Noodle or Sip N Slurp
Pairing suggestions: Anarchist Wine Co. 2018 Pinot Gris or Foundry Wines: 2018 Pinot Blanc, Schrader Ranch Vineyard
Off the Grid Creator partners: Al Pastor Papi, Coolinaria, or Judie’s Tacos Locos
Pairing suggestions: Anarchist Wine Co. 2016 Conspiracy Theory
https://www.anarchistwineco.com/product/2016-Conspiracy-Theory or Foundry Wines: 2017 Pinot Noir, Rodgers Creek Vineyard
Burgers and BBQ
Off the Grid Creator partners: Capelo’s Barbecue or Curveball Sliders
Pairing suggestions: Anarchist Wine Co. 2014 The Philosopher, Napa Valley or Foundry Wines: 2014 The Crucible (right bank inspired blend)
Time to put your knowledge to the test! Enjoy 15% off Anarchist Wine Co. with code AWCFF15 when you order 6 or more bottles, and receive free delivery or shipping to anywhere in the Bay Area.