Changing of the Wine Seasons
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
Paul recently wrote about the transition of food consumption from hearty comfort foods with the cooler weather becoming more of a memory. I agree with everything he wrote, and I would add something to his comments. As the food we consume changes with the rising temperatures outside, the various types of wine that pair well with comfort foods should be changed as well.
A cold Sunday, with a pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove for hours, for a hearty pasta dish later in the afternoon, is a perfect scenario for some classic, hearty red wines. The aroma in the house makes your taste buds dance in anticipation of the meal to come. Some examples of wine to enjoy while not just eating the fruits of your labor, but to be enjoyed as part of the Sunday sauce cooking process would be a Super Tuscan, a Chianti Classico, a nice Barolo (all from Italy) or hearty Syrah (Napa or Sonoma Valley). The slow cooker pot roast or short ribs are just screaming for a rich Cabernet Sauvignon (there are so many great cabs from around the world but some great ones come from Chile) or a Malbec (the best Malbec wines, in my opinion, come from the Mendoza region in Argentina). Granted, you may not have the luxury to have a day of cooking and wine drinking, but if you do, it is a wonderful experience. Italians seem to place so much emphasis on food and wine and I am guilty as charged in that regard. Any merging of food and wine is welcome.
Now let’s open the windows and let the warm air and sunshine in. Better yet, lets get outside and fire up the gas grill. Don’t get me wrong, hanging around the house with wonderful aromas is an awesome experience. Hanging around outside and tending to whatever is being barbecued or cooked on the grill is equally rewarding. For many, this is a setting for a nice, cold beer. I am not much of a beer drinker. Though on a hot summer day, grabbing a bottle of brew from the bottom of an ice filled cooler is a treat.
The list of white, rose and lighter red wines, that pair with the warmer weather and differing foods of summer is just about as extensive of their red counterparts. A classic barbecued chicken on the grill with corn on the cob and large salad is calling for a Pinot Grigio or crisp Chardonnay. Maybe you would rather have some grilled shrimp on skewers with complimenting grilled peppers, onions and tomatoes over rice. A nice Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand would go well with that grilled shrimp and vegetable combination. A burger or steak or ribs on the grill pairs well with a Pinot Noir, a light red wine from Oregon. For something a little heartier in the red category, but still light, there is a Nero D’ Avola, a red wine from grapes only grown in Sicily. Let’s not forget happy hour. Any of these wines or maybe a nice Rose from the southern region of France, will go well with cheese and crackers, hummus, peanuts and a veggie platter. Sometimes, happy hour is one wine and then there is transition to another for dinner. This is no different than when ordering a cocktail before dinner at a restaurant and having wine when dinner is served. There are no hard and fast rules here. If there were, when it would come to rules on wine, rules are made to be broken.
Hopefully you will try some of these pairings and if you are looking for a specific wine for a certain situation, let me know and I will gladly provide some recommendations. The price for a bottle of wine does not have to put you broke. There are countless bottles of wine that are between $10-$25 per bottle that are fabulous.
The best wine is the wine your drink with friends. Just do it safely, for now, over Facetime or a Zoom happy hour!
Until the Next Tom’s Take...
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