Indulge

Behind the Scenes: Plated Beverage Pairings

In the Test Kitchen, we always love dreaming up wine and beer pairings for our dishes—but around New Years, this task brings us particular joy. After all, what better way to close out the old year and ring in the new one with a glass and bite of something special?

Back by popular demand, we’re offering suggested wine pairings for two dishes on the menu for the week of December 23–29—just enough time for you to test them out yourself and get inspired before your New Year’s Eve soirée. For each selected dish, the Test Kitchen sat down and sampled it alongside two potential pairings before selecting a winner. Take a behind-the-scenes look at our tasting process—and add the recipes to your box!

Roasted Grape and Brie Crostini with Butternut, Pistachio, and Spinach Salad

Combining gooey Brie, toasted baguette, and tangy-sweet, balsamic-roasted grapes, you could serve this elegant dish as a dinner in itself or as an appetizer to guests on New Year’s Eve. We wanted something equally sophisticated and celebratory to serve with it—so naturally, we gravitated towards bubbly.

We chose two sparkling wines to try side-by-side with the dish: Crémant d’Alsace, a sparkling wine from France, and a dry Prosecco. Both felt fun and festive with the melty crostini, and we appreciated the crisp, refreshing acidity that each brought to contrast the Brie. The Crémant, however, quickly emerged the winner. Made in the same traditional style as Champagne (méthode Champenoise), these wines are required to spend some time aging on the leftover yeast cells from the fermentation process, which gives the finished product a rich, creamy texture and notes of toast and nuts that we loved between bites of crispy baguette and toasted pistachios.

Want to learn more about why we loved this pairing? Add the recipe to your box!

Chicken, Pear, and Blue Cheese Salad with Crispy Shallots and Almonds

With creamy, tangy blue cheese dressing, fried shallots, crisp pear, and shredded chicken, this salad feels luxurious while still satisfying our post-holiday craving for fresh fruits and veggies. We wanted to pair it with a wine that would help us slow down and savor the layers flavors and textures even more, and decided on two wines to pair alongside it: a dry Riesling from New York’s Finger Lakes, and Sancerre, a white wine from France’s Loire Valley.

The Sancerre was crisp and fresh, with an herbal, savory quality that we enjoyed with the crispy shallots. But ultimately, we fell in love with the Riesling, which we felt complemented the flavors of the dish in a natural way without overpowering them. Highly aromatic, with notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, and apple, the wine brought out the fresh pear and little gem in the salad without overwhelming the more delicate textures, and was refreshing against the salty blue cheese.

Does this pairing strike your fancy? Try it out for yourself and add the recipe to your box!

This article is intended for individuals 21-years-old and over. Please drink responsibly.

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