15 Delicious Wine Pairing Suggestions

Wine rules are more like the pirate’s code: more of a set of guidelines.There’s considerable room for experimentation and expression of your own personality in pairing food and wine. The rules for wine pairing have relaxed a bit, but the fact remains that certain flavors of food and wine mix better together than others. Remember, rules are meant to be broken and the best pairings are the ones that bring you joy.

Syrah: Matches with highly spiced dishes
When a meat is heavily seasoned—like Asian-Spiced Pork Shoulder and Cumin-Spiced Burgers—look for a red wine with lots of spicy notes. Syrah from Washington, Cabernet Franc from France and Xinomavro from Greece are all nice choices.

Grüner Veltliner: Pairs with dishes that have lots of fresh herbs
Austrian Grüner Veltliner’s citrus-and-clover scent is lovely when there are lots of fresh herbs in a dish. Other go-to grapes in a similar style include Albariño from Spain and Vermentino from Italy.

Pinot Noir: Is great for dishes with earthy flavors
Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth.

Dry Rosé: For rich, cheesy dishes
Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red; yet almost all pair well with dry rosé, which has the acidity of white wine and the fruit character of red. This makes it the go-to wine when serving a wide range of hors d’oeuvres, from crudités to gougères.

Sauvignon Blanc: Goes with tart dressings and sauces
Tangy foods—like Scallops with Grapefruit-Onion Salad or Sour-Orange Yucatán Chicken—won’t overwhelm zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde from Portugal and Verdejo from Spain. The bright, citrusy acidity acts like a zap of lemon or lime juice to heighten flavors in everything from smoked sablefish to grilled salmon.

Zinfandel: For pâtés, mousses and terrines
If you can use the same adjectives to describe a wine and a dish, the pairing will often work. For instance, the words rustic and rich describe Zinfandel, Italy’s Nero d’Avola and Spain’s Monastrell as well as Creamy Chicken-Liver Mousse.

Pinot Grigio: Pairs with light fish dishes
Light seafood dishes, like Seafood Tostada Bites, seem to take on more flavor when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy or Chablis from France.

Malbec: Won’t be overshadowed by sweet-spicy barbecue sauces
Malbec, Shiraz and Côtes-du-Rhône are big and bold enough to drink with foods brushed with heavily spiced barbecue sauces like Chicken Drumsticks with Asian Barbecue Sauce

Chardonnay: For fatty fish or fish in a rich sauce
Silky whites—for instance, Chardonnays from California, Chile or Australia—are delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush sauce. Try Sizzling Shrimp Scampi or Crisp Salmon with Avocado Salad.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Is fabulous with juicy red meat
California Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are terrific with steaks or chops. The firm tannins, the astringent compounds in these red wines that help give the wine structure, refresh the palate after each bite of meat.

Champagne: Is perfect with anything salty
Most dry sparkling wines, such as brut Champagne and Spanish cava, actually have a faint touch of sweetness. That makes them extra-refreshing when served with salty foods.

Rosé Champagne: Is great with dinner, not just hors d’oeuvres
Rosé sparkling wines, such as rosé Champagne, cava and sparkling wine from California, have the depth of flavor and richness to go with a wide range of main courses.

Off-Dry Riesling: Pairs with sweet & spicy dishes
The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes. In addition, when confronted with dishes like a fiery curried chicken or Thai stir-fry, wines that are low in alcohol keep the oils that make food hot from being overly accentuated.

Old World Wines: Are intrinsically good with Old World dishes
The flavors of foods and wines that have grown up together over the centuries—Tuscan recipes and Tuscan wines, for instance—are almost always a natural fit.

Moscato d’Asti: Loves fruit desserts
Moderately sweet sparkling wines such as Moscato d’Asti, demi-sec Champagne and Asti Spumante help emphasize the fruit in the dessert, rather than the sugar.

This was (mostly) stolen directly from Food & Wine and reprinted here so you don’t have to click 15 times to see it all. If you are looking for more specific pairings check out the table at Gourmet Sleuth.

The Food At Casa Bonita

You’re right, nobody goes to Casa Bonita for the food. But because buying a meal is mandatory for entrance, nobody goes to Casa Bonita without the food. Long heralded as the worst Mexican food in Denver, the dinners and lunches at Casa Bonita have become a legend in themselves. Below is a picture of the combination meal that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. Does it really look all that bad? Rest assured it tasted nearly exactly like it looks. Horrible.

Is It Really That Bad? The food at Casa Bonita

Other photos from my trip to Casa Bonita can be found in this flickr set.

Bell Pepper Teratoma

The other night I was fixing up some fajitas for dinner. Yum. While cutting up a red bell pepper for my meal, what to my wondrous eyes did appear? A red pepper teratoma! A capsicum styled fetus in fetu, if you will. A pepper within a pepper. According to this (fairly well referenced) Wikipedia article explains what fetus in fetu is:

Fetus in fetu (or fœtus in fœtu) is a developmental abnormality: a mass of tissue inside the body that more or less resembles a fetus. There are two theories of origin concerning fetus in fetu. One theory is that the mass begins as a normal fetus but becomes enveloped inside its twin. The other theory is that the mass is a highly developed teratoma. Fetus in fetu is estimated to occur in 1 in 500,000 live births.

It’s not quite as exciting as the foot found in the boys brain down in Colorado Springs (warning: very graphic photo [photo credit to the Denver Post]. DO NOT click if you are at all squeamish). But I was still pretty thrilled with my little discovery. My mature, and fully ripened, red pepper was carrying it’s own underdeveloped green pepper twin inside it. Of course I took pictures.

Red Pepper Teratoma (Inside)

And here is a picture of the with the fetus extracted.

Red Pepper Teratoma (Extracted)

Alas, teratoma peppers are not all that uncommon.

The Official Comprehensive List Of Slurpee Flavors

Today is July 11th. That means it’s 7-11. And that means it’s free Slurpee day. It is also supposed to get up 99 degrees in Denver today, so the timing couldn’t be better. Take note of the flavors in the store you went to and add it to the SlurpeeFlavors.com Flavor Map. Below is a comprehensive list of current (and past) Slurpee flavors. If you know of a flavor I’m missing, put it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list. Be careful out there kids.

Slurpee Flavors
7-Up
7-Up Green
7-Up Ice
7-Up Tropical
Amp Energy Freeze
Artic Burst
Banana
Banana Split
Black Cherry
Black Pina Colada
Blue Berry Blast
Blue Meanie (Australia Only)
Blue Raspberry Rush
Blue Shock
Blue Vanilla
Blue Woo Hoo! Vanilla
Bruisin’ Berry
Bruisin’ Berry Grape
Bubble Yum
Bumblebee Blast
Café Latte
Candy Cane
Cherry Coke
Citrus Splash
Code Red
Coke
Coke Classic
Cotton Candy
Cranberry Sprite
Cream Soda (Barq’s)
Crystal Light Berry Pomegranate (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Cherry Limeaide (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Orange Pineapple Ice (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Passionfruit (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Peach Mango Fusion (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Raspberry Ice (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Strawberry Banana (Sugar Free)
Crystal Light Tangerine Lime (Sugar Free)
Diet Pepsi
Dr. Pepper
Fanta Banana
Fanta Birch Beer
Fanta Blue Cherry
Fanta Blue Raspberry
Fanta Ginger Ale
Fanta Grape
Fanta Green Lemon Lime
Fanta Green Melon
Fanta Kiwi Strawberry
Fanta Mandarin Tangerine
Fanta Orange
Fanta Orange Cream
Fanta Pina Colada
Fanta Pineapple
Fanta Purple Berry Cherry
Fanta Raspberry
Fanta Red Licorice
Fanta Super Sour Apple
Fanta Super Sour Cherry
Fanta Super Sour Watermelon
Fanta Vanilla
Fanta Watermelon
Fanta White Cherry
Fanta Wild Cherry
Fanta Wild Cherry Reduced Calorie
Frawg
French Vanilla
Full Throttle Blue Demon
Full Throttle Frozen Blast
Game Fuel
Grape
Grapefruit
Grapermelon
Green Apple
Gully Washer
Hawaiian Punch
Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red
Hawaiian Punch Green Berry Rush
Honeycomb
Iced Tea
Jolly Rancher Sour Apple
Kryptonite Ice
Lemonador
Licorice
Lime
Liquid Artillery
Livewire Orange
Mango Bango
Margarita
Mellow Yellow
Minute Maid Blue Cherry
Minute Maid Blue Raspberry
Minute Maid Blueberry
Minute Maid Cherry
Minute Maid Grape
Minute Maid Lemonade
Minute Maid Orange
Minute Maid Passionfruit Orange
Minute Maid Peach
Minute Maid Pineapple
Minute Maid Raspberry
Minute Maid Strawberry
Mocha Chocolate
Monster Black Ice
Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew Blue Lightning/Shock
Mountain Dew LiveWire
Mountain Dew Pitch Black
Orange
Orange-Pineapple
Pepsi
Pepsi Blue
Pepsi Samba
Pina Colada
Pineapple
Pitch Black Grape
Powerade Ice
Purple S-cream
Radiation Rush
Raspberry Crystal Light
Red Cherry
Rootbeer
Rootbeer (Barq’s)
Shrekalicious
Sierra Mist
Slurpucchino
Slurpurita Pomegranate
SnowBawls (Bawls)
Sobe Citrus
Sour Peach
Sour Strawberry
Sour Watermelon
Sprite
Sprite Ice
StawberrWii Banana
Strawberry
Strawberry Banana
Strawberry Cream
Strawberry-Kiwi
Tropical Punch
Tropicana Twister Berry
Twizzlers Strawberry
Vanilla Coke
What-a-melon
Wild Cherry Pepsi

Brotherly Love

I was really impressed with Philadelphia as a city. I only spent a long weekend there but I felt like I got to see most of the sights and get a real flavor of the city (though that flavor was slightly greasy [in a good way]). As soon as I stepped of the plane it was straight to Johnny Manana’s for their giant griddle of melted cheese. The queso was excellent, the margs were horrible. I then got settled into my friend’s house who were hosting me for the week, at a yummy home cooked meal and washed it all down with a few beers at the Dark Horse in the city. The Dark Horse is a Philadelphia style Irish pub with strong roots, located in a 2 story colonial rowhouse complete with dark wood, exposed brick, and one of the oldest working fireplaces in the city.

We kicked off our first full day in the City Of Brotherly Love with Philly cheese steaks of course.

One of the people I was staying with was a highschool history teacher, and a native Philly who’s in love with his city. He was the perfect tour for all of the historical sights we visited on Saturday. We spent the entire afternoon seeing all the historical sights. The liberty bell, Independence hall, First national bank, The oldest residential street in the US, the National Constitution Center, and a bunch more. I think I might have been a little bored if it weren’t for the interesting anecdotes and facts provided by our good friend/tour guide.

Over There

For dinner we went to the tasty but slightly overpriced White Dog Cafe. A restaurant known for there social activism as much as their food. The atmosphere was cool and a little fancy. It made for a great “nice night out”.

Sunday I slept in and had a leisurely breakfast then went to the Mütter Museum. This has to be one of the most interesting museums I’ve ever been to. It was filled with biological/anatomical oddities – conjoined twins, casts of heads suffering from acute, a 30 foot colon, the soap woman, the Chevalier Jackson collection of over 2,000 objects swallowed and removed from the trachea, celebrity body parts, encased longitudinal slices of the head showing the brain. It’s all enough to make you gasp and then get a little queasy. Muffled shouts of “My God, look at that BABY MONSTER!” are often heard and quite appropriate.

Then it was off to the impressive Philadelphia Museum Of Art. I must have spent nearly four hours exploring this place.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

On Monday we spent the morning hiking around the Wissahickon Creek. It’s so great that Philly has a such a large, heavily wooded park right next to the city.
Thomas Mill Road Covered Bridge
In fact, Philly was filled with parks and was one of the many things I found attractive about it. Anyway, our trip ended shortly after with a flight back to Denver that seemed to take forever.