By Anne Schamberg
That ever-puzzling question of what wine to drink with a chocolate doughnut or two is settled at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher, where you will find an easy-to-use tool that pairs wines with just about any dish from chicken-feta tostadas to Jell-O. At this award-winning site you also can sign up for Nat Decants, sommelier Natalie MacLean's free monthly newsletter. And you can access her basic-level wine glossary.
But to end the suspense - and tossing coffee aside - the beverage for chocolate doughnuts is either a Banyuls, which is a fortified wine from southern France, or a tawny port. Read more ...
By J.M. Hirsch
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."
If you'd rather color coordinate your meal, but still aren't interested in a cab, MacLean suggests other hearty reds, such as an Australian shiraz or Rhone Valley syrah.
"These wines aren't as tannic as cabernet but they pack a lot of flavor in the glass, so they stand up to the robust flavors in the meat," says MacLean, whose Web site, NatalieMacLean.com, offers reams of pairing suggestions. Read more ...
By Rachel Naud
When pairing food with wine, MacLean says three things have to work together: flavour, texture and weight. "Does your wine have a lot of cherry plum flavours?" asks MacLean. "Is that echoed in your dish?"
MacLean says where texture is concerned, the mouth-feel should be similar between the wine and the food. "You want those honking reds and whites to go with a robust dish," says MacLean. "A wimpy wine will just get clobbered by a big steak."
MacLean says steak is best enjoyed with a red wine that has some tannins in it, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon. Tannins are byproducts of the grape skin, stems and pits that MacLean says "make your mouth feel furry." Read more ...