Tip of the Week
If you’ve ever stood before an aisle of wine completely baffled by what to serve at your next dinner party, you aren’t alone. Whether red or white, dry or sweet, the options can be overwhelming.
Two wine experts from The Art Institutes system of schools have teamed up to help you navigate the wine aisle like a pro.
“It’s no longer necessary for wine to be just for special occasions,” says Chef T. Stella Bernard, certified wine professional and an instructor for The Art Institute of Tucson (Ariz.). For her, the first step is demystifying wine, and she says there is something for everyone’s taste. She encourages experimentation, which will help evolve your palate, but cautions against being dissuaded or oversold by the package. “Don’t be turned off if it comes in a box or has a screw top. Don’t worry if it doesn’t have a cork.”
According to Chef Bernard and Chef Bradley Owen, a certified sommelier and instructor at The Art Institute of California - Orange County, a campus of Argosy University, you need to match the acidity, flavors and body of the wine to the dish with which it will be served.
Regionality can also help you find the perfect complement, by pairing wine from the same area as the dish you are eating. For instance, if you are eating a French dish, consider a French wine. “Don’t be intimidated about going into the wine shop,” Bernard says. She encourages you to start with what you like, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people in your local wine store. “The wine you like is the best wine.”
Number to Know
80 to 90 percent: “The old adage of white wine with fish and red wine with meat is true and false,” said Bradley Owen, a certified sommelier and instructor at The Art Institute of California. This will be true 80 to 90 percent of the time, but depending on how the dish is prepared, there are always ways to break this rule. Chicken and pork are crossover proteins, which could work with whites or reds depending on preparation.
Creamy Marsala Spaghetti Sauce
Prep time: 45 minutes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
2 ˝ teaspoons parsley
2 carrots, shredded or finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup half-and-half or cream
In a frying pan over low heat, gently and slowly cook hamburger with 1/4 cup of the cooking wine and 1 1/2 teaspoons of parsley.
Chop the carrots, mushrooms, garlic and onion, and add to an 8-quart pot with the olive oil. Saute the veggies until soft (about 2 minutes) and then add remaining parsley and oregano. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of cooking wine to the pot and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and sugar. Stir and gently simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes or for up to an hour. Drain the meat and add it to the pot. Finish with half-and-half or cream, stirring until combined.
Prepare your favorite pasta according to packet instructions and stir the sauce into the drained noodles. Serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Heavy tannin wines go well with what type of foods?
A. Red meat
B. White meat
D. All of the above
Answer at bottom of rail.
Wise to the Word
Apéritif: a French word for a drink taken before a meal in order to whet the appetite.
The Dish On...
“The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert,” by Richard Betts
Richard Betts is one of fewer than 200 master sommeliers in the world, but he’s no wine snob and he hates wine-speak. In the first book of its kind, he helps readers scratch and sniff their way to expertise by introducing the basic components of wine — the fruits, the wood, the earth — enabling anyone to discover the difference between a Syrah and a Sangiovese and get the glass they love every time. Humorously illustrated, with 16 scents, this irresistible gift puts the fun back in wine fundamentals.
Food Quiz answer
A. Red meat
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Tip of the Week