The Ultimate Wine Expert Approved Pairing Guide

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Since when did all of your friends suddenly speak French, the secret language of grapes? And since when did the taste of wood become a good, neigh, a covetable thing? If you have found yourself lost in a wine-induced daze somewhere between “tête de cuvée” and “oaky notes”, fear not. We’ve paired with the wine experts at Coppola Winery to bring you decadent wine pairings for your Home Chef recipes that will give your meals a little je ne sais quoi.

So you want to become a wine connoisseur, or, more realistically, you want to know how to impress your friends. Like with any language, we need to start with basics, so you’ll be speaking Sommelier-ese in no time. Cue the accordion, ‘cause it’s wine time.

 

Whites

 

Sauvignon Blanc

 

The bright yet dry notes of most Sauvignon Blancs pair well with acidic, salty and oily foods, as they can cut through these flavors with their citrusy notes. Herbaceous, zesty and often floral, this white pairs well with tart sauces, cheese and vegetables. Ingredients like arugula, goat’s cheese and seafood work well with this wine.

 

Pairings

Chicken Tortilla Salad & Diamond Sauvignon Blanc

 

Why it works

The Diamond Sauvignon Blanc’s citrusy profile highlights the smoky flavor of grilled chicken and compliment the bitter greens in the salad.

 

 

Chardonnay

 

 

Like butter in a glass, Chardonnay has rich flavor often with oaky notes. Ingredients that aren’t too spicy or pungent pair well with this wine, like creamy sauces, oily fish, and buttery dishes. With inherent sweetness, don’t be afraid to have your dessert and drink it too by pairing it with a vanilla or caramel flavored after-dinner dish.

 

Pairings

Chicken with Goat Cheese Butter & Director’s Chardonnay

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto & Diamond Chardonnay

Teriyaki Ginger Glazed Salmon & Director’s Cut Chardonnay

 

Why it works

Chardonnay’s creamy and green apple characteristics help compliment and marry the acidic and rich characteristics of the Goat Cheese Butter. The earthy qualities of the butternut squash and walnuts and the richness of the risotto meld together with the creamy, tropical character of the wine. The spicy characteristics the wine develops from being wood-aged also helps bring out the warmth of the traditional fall flavors of the risotto. The creamy and crisp contrasting qualities of the Director’s Cut Chardonnay is a compliment to the sweet and savory interplay of the Teriyaki and Ginger glaze on the salmon.

 

 

Reds

 

 

Zinfandel

 

Lighter in color than its bolder red cousins, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this red leans on the sweeter side, making it perfect for spicy or tangy flavors such as barbeque or curry. As well, its zippy, peppery notes make it a natural pair for grilled or smoked meats. Consider Zin’s as the gateway red.

 

Pairings

Wood-Fired BBQ Chicken Pizza & Diamond Zinfandel

 

Why it works

Zinfandel, with its diversity of fruity and savory flavors is the perfect pairing for this pizza’s earthy, roasty, sweet, savory and smoky flavors.  

 

Pinot Noir

 

 

With subtle berry flavors and light in color, Pinot Noir can be paired with a variety of dishes. As a food-friendly wine, it works well with earthy flavors like mushrooms or potatoes as well as bold proteins such as salmon or duck. Basically, it’s the perfect wine for a last-minute dinner party.

 

Pairings

Black Bean Enchiladas & Diamond Collection Pinot Noir

Mushroom Penne Pasta & Director’s Pinot Noir

Grilled Pork Chop & Director’s Cut Pinot Noir

 

Why it works

The Diamond Pinot Noir’s cherry and cranberry characteristics compliments the earthiness of the Black Beans and highlights a bit of sweetness in the sauce. A traditional pairing with pork, especially in its purist presentation grilled, the Director’s Cut Pinot Noir balances out the earthiness of the dish with some ripe red fruit that highlight basic seasonings on the meat. I can’t think of a better pairing than the mushrooms, tomatoes and herbs on this dish paring with the Director’s Pinot Noir. This dish will highlight the ripe red fruit of the Pinot as much as the wine will intensify the earthiness of the mushrooms and sweetness of the tomatoes in the dish.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Full-bodied with dark fruit flavors, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most layered wines in terms of flavor. Its savory character boasts notes of black pepper and smoky tobacco. Ingredients high in umami like sharp cheeses or savory vegetables like mushrooms or artichokes.

 

Pairings

Sirloin Steak with White Wine Demi-Glace & Director’s Cabernet Sauvignon

Italian Sausage Lasagna Skillet & Director’s Cut Cinema

 

Why it works

A classic pairing, steak and Cabernet Sauvignon brings the flavors of your favorite steakhouse to your kitchen. The beautiful balance of deep red fruit, spice from aging in oak barrels and slight earthy characteristics of coffee and baking chocolate found in the wine will intensify the heartiness of the sirloin. You will want a heartier wine for a heartier dish. The diversity of flavors in the lasagna, from the creaminess of the cheese to the spicy sausage is complimented by the rich fruit and spicy characteristics found in the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel in the Director’s Cut Cinema.

 

Claret

 

 

With notes of sultry flavors like blackberries and dark chocolate, Claret is a rich wine that perfectly pairs with winter-friendly fare. Hearty meat roasts with vegetables and bold herbs accompanies the oaky notes of this red. Bring this full-flavored wine to your next family dinner.

 

Pairings

Beef Empanada Cups & Diamond Collection Claret

 

Why it works

The Cabernet Sauvignon based Claret, with its balance of bright, red fruit and soft spices will compliment the seasoning of the beef and butteriness of the crust of the Empanada cups. It should come across a part of the dish, itself.

 

Merlot

 

 

A medium-bodied red with notes of cherry, cocoa and warm spices, it pairs well with bold proteins and strong, flavorful cheeses. Grilled, braised and broiled meats such as beef, lamb and pork as well as pungent cheeses like Stilton or Camembert accompany this red’s bold, berry flavors. It’s the bold statement necklace of wine.

 

Pairings

Fig Glazed Pork Tenderloin & Diamond Merlot

 

Why it works

With its dark berry flavors and softer tannins, the Diamond Merlot will bring out the flavor of the meet and still enhance the richness of the fig glaze.