Rieslings are extraordinarily versatile with food.
Fried gator bites with raspberry jalapeno sauce
Spicy: Gamay, Zweigelt, Schiava, and some Pinot Noirs
Why: Avoid red wines with high levels of tannin and oak, as those will make the spicy food seem all the spicier.
Spicy basil chicken
Tomato-y: Cabernet sauvignon/Zinfandel
Why: The richer the red sauce you have in your pasta or pizza dish, the more tangy and bold you want your red wine to be.
Bread and sauce
Meatballs and sauce
Sushi, seafood, spring vegetables: Dry, austere, and crisp, chenin blanc and pinot grigio are the wines to reach for when serving lean, white fish cooked simply. Flounder, halibut, walleye, snapper, raw clams, or oysters all do well with these wines.
Think wine, Hip Hop and ribs are an unlikely combination? Think again. And Netflix’s Uncorked gives a glimpse of American life in Tennessee through the eyes of young African American aspiring sommelier. His dilemma is to continue in the tradition of the family owned Memphis BBQ joint serving the ribs, and soul food to the Memphis community. His grandfather started the business, his father continued the business and primes him to take over the business. Immediately the feature opens with hard hitting Hip Hop music while shot cuts back and forth between smoking meat, tasting wine and cutting ribs. The movie centers around a highly unlikely aspiration. Although Black sommeliers are very few, like many professions lack of exposure or insight stifles an interests in the field. However, what’s not lacking are Black wine drinkers globally.
Along with the efforts of the movie Uncorked, Black sommelier, Andre Hueston Mack hope to gain more exposure to the Black wine drinking demographic. According to Mack in aUSA Today article, he expressed that Hip-hop and wine are the perfect pairing.
He is one of only a few black sommeliers and winemakers, and Mack is seeking to revolutionize the wine industry with his background in music, skate culture and modern design. A sommelier or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine.
He founded Mouton Noir, now Maison Noir, in 2007, starting it from scratch with no money and no investors.
His wine is now sold across the U.S. and in 11 other countries, with Mack splitting his time between 13 leased vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and his home in Brooklyn, New York.
Black Sommeliers are few but the field of Black owned wineries is expanding. Here are a few:
Abbey Creek Vineyard. …
Indigené Cellars. …
Charles Wine Company. …
Theopolis Vineyards. …
Taste By Chef Rhonda. …
FLO Wine. …
Maison Noir Wines.
If you want to watch the road to becoming a sommelier in a film filled with twists and turns. Catch Uncorked on Netflix featuring Mamou Athie, Niecy Nash and Courtney Vance.
Let’s take a tour of natural wines with celebrity Gabrielle Union. Why listen to Union? Besides being a wine lover, in 2012 Gabrielle Union was inspired by her love of wine to create a Chardonnay that she describes unlike anything else on the market with the release of ‘Vanilla Puddin.’
Now what exactly is Natural Wine?
Union’s Husband and Basketball star Dwayne Wade stomping grapes.
Natural Wine is farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum.
Three men from different backgrounds and strongly differing beliefs met totally by chance on a rainy evening in Atlanta. While sipping fine wine the wide divide in their beliefs did not disappear, but for a time, Jim Sander’s hospitality and a mutual enjoyment of the wine bound them together in pleasant conversation, and a little known but historic meeting passed into history.
There are over 300 indigenous grapes grown in Greece with the major ones rocking names like Agiorghitiko, Roditis, and Limnio. Fret not, you really don’t need to pronounce these grapes to enjoy them. Greek wine spans the spectrum from light and crisp to heavy and sweet white wines and light, delicate to heavy and bold reds. This is a part of the wine world really worth exploring.
Ever been stumped on how to pair your Mexican food with wine beyond the basics of white goes with chicken and red goes with meat? Well, with Mexican food there are various spices to take into account that makes the pairing need a little more thought.
Wikipedia-Ice wine (or icewine; German Eiswein) is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine.
With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines are made, such as Sauternes, Tokaji, or Trockenbeerenauslese, ice wine grapes should not be affected by Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year, on a northern hemisphere calendar. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. When the grapes are free of Botrytis, they are said to come in “clean”.
Due to the labour-intense and risky production process resulting in relatively small amounts of wine, ice wines are generally quite expensive.
Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines. About 75 percent of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario.
Restauranter Michael Rubino Talks about Canadian Wines and Ice Wine Production
As we head into the heart of summer, it’s time to get the barbecue cleaned up and prepared for a good stretch of home grilling. Unfortunately, if you are like most people, including me, when it comes to matching those outdoor delights with a good wine or beer, your lost.
Fear no more! The MultiCulturalCookingNetwork reached out to our friend Ed Draves, the wine know it all for the Premier Group in Buffalo, New York for a quick primer in making your summer feast a success, at least when it comes to drinks.
MCCN: Ed, thanks for taking a few moments to help us out on this. So, we want to have some folks over for a little summer entertaining and we need some help making sure we’ve got the right wine on the table. If I’m putting together the classic backyard BBQ, you know, burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, what should I pair with that?
Ed Draves: Dave, with the classic burger cookout, a nice Rhone wine from France, think Syrah/Grenache, is perfect. You can usually find really nice ones in the $10 range. If you are thinking beer, look for a pale ale and if you can find it, the Live Pale Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company would be a winner.
MCCN: Okay, but what about some of the other options. What if I want to grill some chicken, do a little cedar plank salmonor even a light summer fruit or pasta salad?
Ed: All these scream for Riesling, sweet or dry depending on taste but always cooler climate with ample acidity. There are lots of great local examples for people living in Idaho, Michigan, NY, Ohio, and Washington. The German examples (Kabinett level) are also fantastic. The lemon you’d put with the Salmon has me really exited to match with a Riesling, something from the slate soil of the Moselle region.
Also, for the salmon or the salads, you could try an unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. If you really want a red wine, try a Pinot Noir, it goes great with both salmon and chicken and is a nice light style wine.
MCCN: Okay Ed, that’s the light stuff, but sometimes you need to turn up the heat and throw a couple of T-Bones on the grill. What works with that or a big juicy Porterhouse?
Ed: That’s when you reach for a nice rich Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep red and full-bodied.
MCCN: Thanks Ed for your help on this. Any further thoughts?
Ed: Dave, just that if you are doing summer and drinks, why not try something on the cutting edge? Leave the vodka and rum in the cabinet and go for some premium Wahaka Mezcal [Joven Espadin] straight out of the freezer, ice cold and undiluted. It’s a great alternative if you are looking for something different in the spirits category.
So there you have it, our summer guide to putting your best foot forward when it comes to the backyard barbecue and drinks.
Again, our thanks go out to both Ed Drave and Premier Group VP Jon Notarius for their help and input.