How to pair with Everything!

IMG 20170130 105310 421

How to pair with Everything!

So that football game is on this weekend. You know the big one.  I usually work on Sundays (Theatre being another popular weekend event), but this Sunday is special.  The big game takes over and in Vegas that’s the only show anyone is watching, so…DAY OFF!

With this Golden Day we decided to host a Wine Party!  (Thanks for the inspiration Andrew).  The game will be on, but the party is all about the wine.  We asked that our guests each bring a bottle of wine that they like to drink.  The idea is that we can all taste different wines than we might normally and find new wines that captivate us!

Food Pairings when you don’t know what Wine you will have!

Okay…but how do you do the food?  You would need pairings for everything?!

You start with a little research.  As much as I wish wine & food pairings were second nature to me, they are not yet.  So I picked up one of my favorite books (Madeline Puckette stand by for a plug) Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine.  Yes, yes, I’m a wine geek and a Stage Manager, so I took Madeline’s pairing guides and used them to make my self a great big spreadsheet.  I grabbed a couple other sources for pairing ideas also and set myself to making a game day inspired menu.

20170201 130415

Geeking out making wine pairing spreadsheets.

9 Styles of Wine

I broke it down to the 9 styles of wine that Madeline lists and then made sure I had at least one pairing for each.

We will have Wine Style Cards on the counter, one for each style so people can place their wine in the appropriate spot, then the table filled with food, with have labels for what style wine is most likely to pair with the food!  There will be lots of cheese, meats, veggies, fruits, crackers and condiments for pairings and then a few more composed or substantial items, to keep people full with all that wine.

Sparkling Wine

There will of course be my favorite standby, Potato chips (the fat and salt with sparkling wine are great!) but I’m going to add some bacon wrapped dates filled with goat cheese and almonds too.  The fat and salt on these will also be great with Cava, Prosecco or Champagne.

Light White Wine

This is your Sav Blanc, Pinot Gris, Vermentino type wines.  Here we will go with Chips Salsa and Guac.  These type of wines go well with sour creme, avocado and cilantro.

Full-Bodied White

Think Chard or Viognier.  Great with chicken and fresh herbs as well as garlic and onions.  I found a Cabbage and Chicken Salad recipe that should cover our base here!

Aromatic White

Riesling, Torrontes, Chenin Blanc…These lend themselves to exotic spices, and root vegetables so there will be a root vegetable, Israeli cous cous dish with some exotic spices.


Think pink!  Pink with Pink is my go to, so there will be salmon and shrimp.

Light Reds

Gamay and Pinot Noir.  These kind of cover a few bases, the exotic spices in the cous cous dish, the chicken in the salad, the bacon in the bacon wrapped dates.

Medium Reds

Barbera, Cab Franc, Grenache, Zin.  Bean, Garlic, Onions, Beef, Spices…..yeah, that pretty much screams Chili doesn’t it?

Full Bodied Reds

Syrah, Bordeaux Blends, Malbec,  These too will pair with the Chili (these add nightshades like tomato, and bell pepper to the list of things that they like to pair with)

Dessert Wines

Port, Sherry, Vin Santo, Sauternais  Here we go with Dessert and I have chocolate fountain and maple bacon cupcakes on the way to cover that.


To cover our cheese bases, I am using my quick list.

Chevre, Brie, Mozzerella, Havarti, Asiago, Smoked Gouda, Cheddar and a Bleu Cheese.  With those you should be covered.

So we should be covered regardless of what anyone brings!

Now I’m looking forward to tasting some new wines and then digging in on some more research.  You can look forward to hearing about all of it right here at Crushed Grape Chronicles!   You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram





pinit fg en rect red 28

Robin Renken
[email protected]
No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: