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Friday, December 16, 2005 

Holiday Match-Making

By Paul Gregutt - Seattle Times

An interesting look at putting together food/wine combinations:

I take a practical approach to wine and food pairing, especially during the holidays.

First, I look for opportunities to pull out special wines — Champagne for starters, richer white wines for opening courses, older red wines for main courses and something decadent and sweet with dessert.

Second, I try to include as many different wines as possible. A half bottle per wine-drinking guest is a good starting point, but as long as no one feels pressured to finish every glass or empty every bottle, it's fine to up that to a bottle per person. Have a dump bucket placed conveniently nearby, and let guests know it's perfectly all right to use it. And remember that in any mixed group, there will be some who really don't like white wines and some who really can't drink red, so you'll want to offer a bottle or two of each.

He then goes through suggestions for various types of food, such as:

SALTY/BRINY

Recommended: A Spanish cava from a value producer such as Codorníu or Freixenet.

SPICY/HOT

Recommended: Cermeño Tinto 2004; $11. For spicy meat dishes, this Spanish red's bright, spicy fruit will work well.

VINEGARY/ACIDIC

Recommended: Pedroncelli 2004 "East Side Vineyards" Sauvignon Blanc; $10. This new release is a knockout, ripe and juicy with pineapple/grapefruit flavors.

GREEN/VEGETAL

Recommended: Duck Pond 2003 Chardonnay; $9. Soft and tropical, this barrel-fermented Columbia Valley wine will be just right with light cream sauces.

SWEET

Recommended: Alice White 2005 Shiraz; $7. The best of the Alice White wines, its lightly sweet, fresh and plummy fruit flavors will handle sweet fruit or tomato sauces, barbecue or pizza.


There are further explanations/descriptions of each category in the article...

Glad to see you liked the Alice White Shiraz. I didn't find it all that sweet, but it is a good value.

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