Food and Wine Pairings

Whether you’re squeezing in some last-days-of-summer cookouts or preparing for holiday dinner parties, food and wine pairing suggestions are always welcome. Here, “Good Better Best Wines” author Carolyn Evans Hammond provides pairing ideas featuring the nation’s most favorite dishes (pizza, bacon and cheeseburgers!) and sips that won’t burst your purse strings.

Cheeseburgers: Trapiche Broquel Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($14)
“Shining purple black in the glass suggesting oil-like density, this voluptuous wine exudes pronounced aromas of grilled beef, creamy mocha, and the slightest hint of dry licorice root before sliding across the palate with intense flavours of flame-grilled rib-eye, bitter chocolate, espresso and dry earth marbled with bright black and red berries. Brambly fruit stays on the finish for what seems like days. Quite gratifying wine. And perfect for flame-grilled or broiled cheeseburgers. Full body with 14 percent alcohol.”

Pizza:  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, Abruzzo, Italy ($6)
“Such great value! Lush aromas of berries and plum lead to sweetly fruited black cherry and leather flavours with a soft, silky texture and fresh, palate-cleansing acidity—to match the tomato sauce. This stellar food wine finishes with peppercorn and a slightly bitter black olive note to season pizza beautifully. Medium-to full-bodied with 13 percent alcohol.”

Bratwurst: Beringer Third Century Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, USA ($12)
“Lush nose of super-ripe raspberries leads to a ripe raspberry jam palate that evolves toward flavours of violet, beetroot and earthy woodlands resonating on the finish. Pinot noir lovers will appreciate the subtle nod to this noble variety’s heartland—Burgundy. Full-bodied with 13.9 percent alcohol. Just the thing for Bratwurst.”

Bacon: Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages AC, Burgundy, France ($10)
“Wafting aromas of fresh strawberries and candy floss lead to refreshing wild strawberry, ripe raspberry and red apple flavours. Bright, fruity, easy wine that’s made to quaff and quench rather than sip and ponder—perfect match for salty bacon. Medium-bodied with 12.5 percent alcohol.”

Tomato Soup: Bella Sera Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy ($10)
“Tumbling flavors and aromas of cherry, raspberry, earth, sea salt and white pepper characterize this classic, honest-value wine that could pair beautifully with any style of tomato soup. Medium-bodied with 12.5 percent alcohol.”

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