Often people find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to wine. Whether it's determining which wine to serve with certain dishes, or even which wine to serve in a certain season, pairing is not always a simple task. Typically when the weather turns warm, and people begin to enjoy lighter dinner and appetizer recipes. Switching to lighter wines is also a good idea at this time.
In the middle of winter when we are craving warm, hearty comfort food, the rich, full-bodies reds become the wine of choice. But as fresh, locally -grown vegetables are more abundant and folks may begin dining outdoors, the lighter, simpler flavors come alive. That's when you'll want to start preparing dishes that work best with crisp white wines, or fruity, lighter reds.
Some people stand on ceremony, strictly pairing certain wines and foods. It's as if there is a secret formula to follow, otherwise your food will spontaneously implode. Perhaps a little lee-way when it comes to developing your menu and wine pairings not only relieves some stress, but also provides the opportunity to try something a little more adventurous.
That being said, there are certain wines that just seem to mix and mingle better with certain foods. If you are exploring some appetizer recipes, this time of year you aren't likely to serve food that is too rich. By the same token, your wines shouldn't be overpowering.
Summer wines are:
- Best Served Chilled
This can include Reds, like Beaujolais or Rose. Whites with these characteristics are Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc.
If you're really attached to meat and red wine and wish to serve up a Syrah, or a Cabernet Sauvignon, you aren't breaking any laws and the wine police won't be coming for you. However, if you're going to grill fish, make a salad, or start off with a goat cheese crostini, you may want to stick with the lighter wines.
Planning to serve some light appetizer recipes like sushi rolls, shrimp bites, or artichoke dip? The floral notes of a crisp Viognier would be a wise choice. This light, warm weather wine also works with spicy Thai food food or hot wings.
Cream sauces, creamy cheeses, and white pizzas are a nice pairing with Chardonnay. Looking for something a little bit different? Veal goes with Chardonnay too, so try these Veal Stuffed Zucchini appetizers.
Here is a recipe for Chicken, Rice, and Mango in Lettuce Wraps that should really sing with a glass of Fume Blanc.
If your menu calls for something that still has some depth, or something to help soak up the wine, try this Sweet Onion and Pancetta Tart from Match My Wine.
So as the thermometer continues to rise, plan a gathering to celebrate the slow shift from spring to summer with some lighter appetizer recipes. Pair them with crisp, fresh white wines and enjoy the season.