Food & Wine 25

Some wines are definitely a better fit with certain foods, but I admit I lived many years without realizing just good a food and wine pairing could acutally be. On my one and only visit to Lumiere – during the Rob Feenie years – I ordered a ten-course tasting menu and the matched flight of wines for each course. I was humbled. The food was good. Each course was either a single bite of something quite special or a few bites of something sumptuous. There was Israeli couscous and paper thin smoked duck breast and goat cheese cheesecake and lots […]

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Food & Wine 19

It wasn’t long ago that I decided to set out to learn more about wine. As I immersed myself in the subject, I begrudgingly discovered there was more to learn than I ever wanted. The simple fact is, I, like most people, wanted a few simple, easy-to-follow rules to pair wine with my food. Much to my surprise, I learned that a lifetime of eating experiences gives us all the basic tools we can use to understand food flavor combinations and wine compatibility. Instinctively we know that corn-on-the cob tastes best with butter. Or a splash of lemon on seafood […]

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Food & Wine 18

Nat Decants is a Internet site of wine writer Natalie MacLean. It’s full of great articles that she has written and she publishes a regular newsletter which has a personal tone. And now she has considered something new, which will be interesting for all wine lovers. It is a so-called widget, which means: a tool that you can put on your own web site, blog or social media page like Facebook to get wine and food pairings. With this tool, your site visitors can find the right wine for the right dish. The tool is easy-to-use and accessible. There are […]

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Steak & Wine

When it comes to steak, conventional wisdom says the color of your wine should match the color of your meat. But if you can’t bear to quaff yet another cabernet sauvignon with your beef, there are other options, including plenty that refute convention, says Natalie MacLean, a sommelier and wine writer. “Robust whites can also muscle in beside a steak,” she says. “If you’re tired of big, honkin’ reds, try a California chardonnay or a French blend of marsanne and rousanne. These toasty, aromatic whites highlight the smoky notes in the meat.” But avoid light-bodied whites, which can be overshadowed […]

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Food & Wine

Dinner with wine used to be simple. The rule was white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat. But most of us don’t just eat meat and potatoes or drink claret and chablis these days. With modern fusion cuisine and wines from new regions around the world, the choices – and confusion – are great. One new school of thought is that any wine goes with any dish. However, most of us don’t put ketchup on our ice cream for the same reason as we don’t drink a delicate white wine with a hearty meat dish or […]

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Frozen Food Wines

The nineteenth century French gastrome Anthelme Brillat-Savarin would have choked on his foie gras had he known that tipplers today drink wine with frozen dinners. Is this the beginning of the end for the fine art of food and wine pairing? Are we losing our ability to appreciate the finer things of life? Not according to Katie Morton who launched Stouffer’s Complete Dinner Stir-Kits with wine suggestions on the package. Morton has taken on the Quixotic quest of making frozen dinners a more “exotic meal experience.” The meal line has sold well since its launch in 1998, particularly since more […]

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Food & Wine 2

Natalie MacLean didn’t start out with a love of wine. Meals with her husband, who enjoyed having a bottle of wine with dinner, are where MacLean first discovered wine. “I always say that I didn’t start drinking until I met my husband,” said MacLean. “And now that I am writing about wine for a living, I don’t have a reason to stop.” Editor of a free wine newsletter at www.nataliemaclean.com, MacLean took her love of wine and turned it into a career. Starting off by writing about wine on the Internet, she was picked up by a local food magazine […]

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Beef & Wine

Does boeuf bourguignon have to be made with a wine from its namesake region, Burgundy? It’s traditional, yes, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s no accident that Fiona Beckett, the British food writer, recommends a red from France’s Languedoc or Rhone. She wants a more full-bodied wine in her recipe. Nor does the wine in the pot need to be the same as what’s poured in the glass. Wine can lend a great deal of flavor to cooking, but long cooking destroys a fine wine’s nuances and layers of complexity. “Burgundy isn’t the only wine that pairs with beef […]

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Food & Wine 3

Wine always makes a tasteful gift, and you never have to wrap it. But how do you know whether your cubicle mate or running partner prefers a dry white or a luscious red? Add a tag to the bottle that lists his favorite complementary dishes, and you’ll be a hero. Unless your giftee is a habitual dieter or true ascetic, chances are you’ve dished about food. And your friend’s favorite cuisine may be all the insight you need to buy a great wine for him or her, says Natalie MacLean, sommelier and author of Red, White and Drunk All Over: […]

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Food & Wine 4

Why did the chicken flee screaming across the road? It might’ve been escaping the dinner-party host trying to fry him and serve him with, yawn, a bottle of chardonnay. Matching vino and vittles for your next bash doesn’t have to be a “Wine for Dummies” affair relying on tried-and-tired combos (steak with Merlot, fish and Pinot Grigio). But combining tidbits that are supposedly wine-averse — Indian take-out, chips, breakfast — might mean you’ll uncork some interesting bottles. “In Europe, wine culture is quite developed, so it’s common and easy to simply pair white with fish or things like that,” says […]

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