Secrets of a Sommelier| Wine Pairing Tips from Napa

Pick the perfect wines for your Thanksgiving with these 5 tips from a Napa Valley Master Sommelier

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This past weekend my boyfriend I had the pleasure of attending Flavor! Napa Valley  an event which celebrates two of my favorite things in life, top notch wines and amazing food. We were accompanied by a few great friends and some amazing hosts, one of whom was master sommelier Andrea Robinson. As one of only 18 female master sommeliers in the world, Andrea is among the most knowledgable people when it comes to wine. Needless to say, we were thrilled to have the chance to share the weekend with her.

While we dined our way through some amazing meals we had the pleasure of picking Andrea’s brain about the wines which were chosen to go with each dish. With her signature down-to-earth nature, she brought her expertise to us in a way which we could actually understand.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away,  our time with Andrea couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. This year we’ve decided to open the doors to our new house and host a big Friendsgiving feast. We’ll be prepping the turkey and have asked each of our guest to bring along their favorite sides dishes. With an invite list of nearly 50, our meal is certain to have a lot of variety.

If you’ve ever been in a similar situation, you know that figuring out what drinks to serve to match your exhaustive menu can be quite the challenge. Luckily, Andrea’s expertise has prepped me with some easy to follow tips for pulling together the perfect wine pairings. If you’re looking for a simple guide to get your wine right, these points should suit you perfectly.

1. The wine must be at least as sweet as the dish. 

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Remember that sweet doesn’t always mean sugary. Many foods like squash and fresh corn have a natural sweetness to them. Your wine should have a similar profile.

 

2. Riesling pairs well with almost anything.

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If you want to keep it super simple your best bet is to serve Riesling. The flavors generally pair well with most foods meaning a good pick can take you from turkey to pie while complimenting everything in between.

 

3. Think of Sauvignon Blancs like the lemon of wine.

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Foods that tastes better with a bit of citrus squeezed over them pair well with a good SB. Think salads, seafoods, and Mexican-inspired dishes. If you’re starting your meal with a pear and pomegranate salad for instance, a Sauvignon Blanc would be a great compliment.

 

4. Pair flavors that won’t overpower each other.

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Full bodied Chardonnays with strong fruit flavors like pear and apples make a great match for side dishes like buttery mashed potatoes and creamy green bean casseroles. The wine’s fruitiness works because it’s able to stand up to the food’s rich flavors.

 

5. Cabernets compliment earthy flavors.

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Your roasted root vegetables and sage spiced stuffing will find a match in a Cabernet with earthy, smokey flavors. They each compliment and enhance the flavors of the other.

 

For more great tips from Andrea, I’d recommend checking out her book Great Tastes Made Simple: Extraordinary Food and Wine Pairings for Every Palate

 

What are your favorite food and wine pairings? 

Superbly Single,

Jen

Your biggest fan, brunch buddy, and online BFF. Consider me your wing woman for brand success.

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