At Plated, we’re all about the experience of cooking and eating in, which, most of the time, includes a nice glass (or two) of wine on the side. Why wine over beer or a cocktail? There are almost too many (who are we kidding, never too many) amazing things about wine. For one, it’s delicious. Two, it helps you unwind after a long day. Three, it’s full of antioxidants. Four, it makes us happy. We could go on.
One of the coolest things about wine, though, is how well it pairs with all different kinds of foods. In honor of National Drink Wine Day—yes, that’s a thing—we’ve put together a number of our latest and greatest recipes that pair wonderfully a glass (or two) of wine. Given that part of the fun of cooking with Plated is learning how to cook dishes from various cuisines, here’s the rundown of what vinos go best with some of your far-flung favorites.
Let’s take a little trip…
You might surprised to know that wine pairs amazingly well with Thai food. Thai cuisine has a natural spicy kick that lends itself well to fresh, aromatic white wines, which complement the flavors but still stand beautifully on their own. A top pick for Thai food is a Gewurztraminer, which originates from Alsace in France and has the aromatics of lychees and a touch of spice on the palate. The spiciness of this difficult to pronounce (but delicious to drink) wine goes hand-in-hand with hotter Thai dishes. The plushness of this particular white wine will cut through the creaminess of our very own Green Thai Curry with Eggplant, Broccoli, and Basil.
Mexican food is often thought to pair well with beer, and although that’s not wrong, wine can be just as delicious with our Crispy Fish Tacos. Mexican food usually has a variety of flavors and textures—from soft rice, crunchy tortillas, silky avocado, and hearty meat—which makes it a perfect match for a slightly fizzy, fruity white wine. The bubbles help to cleanse the palate between bites and will unite the dish’s different textures. A great choice here is a Vinho Verde from Northern Portugal, which is a peachy and bright, wine made from the Alvarinho grape. Vinho Verde is meant to be drunk young hence the term “Verde” which means green. Portugal is also a maritime country, so the grapes essentially have it in their DNA to pair well with fish, making it a perfect choice for those crispy fish tacos.
Much of Italian food (particularly in the South of Italy) is red sauce based with a healthy serving of meat. The peppery nature of red sauce, along with the heartiness of the meat, needs a bottle with equal spice and heart. Our pick: A juicy red, such as Zinfandel from California. Although Zinfandel is often confused with White Zinfandel, we are referring to the original red warrior in this case. Zinfandel will instantly cling to the sauce in the dish and be a worthy partner of hearty meat-filled dishes. It has a boisterous, fiery personality, and its wonderful black and red fruits will be at home weaving their peppery notes into a Plated favorite: Saucy Meatball Sliders.
There is a saying in the wine world which is, “If it grows together, it goes together.” Let’s take our Chicken Caesar Gyros. The best pairing here is an Assyrtiko, a native Greek grape that produces citrusy wines with great minerality. Assyrtiko is often grown in volcanic soil, so it’s not only a delicious wine with great acidity, but a conversation piece for the dinner table. The citrus profile of the wine stands up to the clean, zesty flavors of a gyro. Assyrtiko will let the cheese and chicken be the stars of the meal while having enough acidity to keep up with the main players.
If you’re staying stateside with your culinary tastes, our Truffled Grilled Cheese with Creamy Tomato Soup is a delightful and unique way to go. This twist on an American classic will pair seamlessly with a Pinot Noir from Oregon. Pinot Noir is famous for having earthy aromas with particular notes of cherries and mushrooms, which complement the truffle-infused sammie. The combination makes for a cozy pairing, and you’ll really get a kick out of eating truffle-y cheese side-by-side with the wine, seeing how they seamlessly bring out each other’s flavors.
And a little bonus…
Now, this is sort of a wine industry secret, but here it goes … if in doubt (for anything), drink Champagne! Champagne, naturally effervescent and perfectly dry, is the ideal buddy for all types of food. The clean zestiness that is brought about by Champagne allows you to cleanse your palate between bites, yet also complements all cuisines. You can even drink Champagne with a molten chocolate cake … but that’s a post for another time!