Photo: santheo, Flickr
There's a wine book for lots of food-pairing needs -- but what about the foods that don't fall into specific categories like desserts, cheeses, meats or fish? There are a lot of what we like to call "in between" snacks that deserve a wine marriage too. Jeanette Hurt and Jaclyn Stuart understand that -- and it's what motivated them to co-author "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine and Food Pairing" (Alpha Books, $16.95). It published on June 1. its pocket size is perfect for toting along on a summer road trip.
We got a hold of Stuart, director of wine education at Third Coast Wine Werks and a certified sommelier, and picked her brain for some food and wine pairing ideas not on most wine critics' radars.
Hurt is a widely published freelance writer (about all things food and wine) and a book author. Her other books include The Cheeses of California, The Cheeses of Wisconsin, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cheeses of the World and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tapas.
Stuart's favorite pairings after the jump...
Gummy Bears: Moscato d'Asti
Granola with yogurt: "I think Mimosas are great, but some plain Cava works well, too."
Buttered Popcorn: "California Chardonnay ... though popcorn is great with a plethora of wines thanks to its relatively neutral flavor, butter component, and saltiness that heightens the flavors in wine."
Potato Chips: Dry Champagne, "which makes it even harder to 'eat just one.'"
Olives: "Olives can be tough, but I look to Mediterranean wines (since that is where olives are prominent)," says Stuart. "Greek white wines are great, as are Spanish. Garnacha (red) and Assyrtiko (white) ."
Pesto sauce: Sauvignon Blanc (if the recipe contains more basil than garlic) or Pinot Grigio (preferred pick for a pesto with lots of garlic)
Ice Cream Sandwich: Late Harvest Zinfandel
Chocolate-chip cookies: Tawny Port
Guacamole: Torrontes (mild recipe) or Gruner Veltliner (spicy recipe)
Fish and Chips: Chardonnay is a wine that Stuart doesn't hesitate to recommend -- as long as it's not too oaky. "Chablis or any other white Burgundy/'Bourgogne Blanc' would work, too," she says.
Pop Tarts: "It's been a while since I had one, but I am thinking Brachetto d'Acqui would be good, especially with berry- or chocolate-flavored."
Hot dogs: Dry Rose if plain, Pinot Noir if with mustard, Zinfandel if with chili
Peanut M&M's: Tawny Port, a pairing that Stuart confessed to recently indulging in
PB&J: A jammy Shiraz
Chicken & Waffles: drier-style Champagne
Chocolate Chip Pancakes w/ Syrup: Sparkling Shiraz