Wine Pairings

Some of our favorite recipe pairings….very tasty.

Here’s another great recipe for brussels sprouts. I absolutely love them…especially with the pancetta. Brilliant. The slight anise of the pancetta and the vegetable character will do well with a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a dish you must try…hopefully it’s a hit for you all!

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe.

Balsamic Braised Brussels with Pancetta

1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (though I found I needed far less)
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus an extra glug or two for drizzling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds medium-sized brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
Salt and pepper
6 ounces pancetta in small dice (1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups veal stock, rich chicken or vegetable broth, more if needed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs and thyme with a couple glugs of olive oil, and spread on a cookie sheet. Toast, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Heat butter and remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy. Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add diced pancetta, and sauté, tossing frequently, until sprouts are well browned and softened slightly, and pancetta is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Reduce heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high, add balsamic vinegar and stock, and cook, tossing frequently, until sprouts are glazed and tender, about 20 minutes; add more stock if needed. Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and scatter bread crumbs on top.

I know it’s summertime and it’s hard to think about eating soup…but this recipe looks too good not to share with you. With this wine pairing, I want to go after the viscosity of the dish as well as the flavor profile. I think I like a rich Chardonnay with this, Sonoma preferably. Enough oak character will pick up the weight and the wonderful nuances here.

Let us know what you think…here’s the recipe from Simply Recipes. 


Tarragon Corn Chowder

I got hungry just looking at the title of this recipe, not to mention all the amazing ingredients. Let’s put it this way…I called Mrs. K to tell her to get the ingredients from the market so we could make it tonight. I have to think that a dish like this seeks its native wine. One of my favorite Italian whites is Arneis. There’s no choice that would be better with this dish.

Smitten Kitchen has the recipe here.

Mushroom Marsala Pasta with Artichokes

I love good ol’ fashion meatballs. And these are great. Even though a Cabernet is called for in the recipe, I definitely need to have a Chianti Classico. It just makes sense in my brain.

Check out the recipe from The Kitchn here.

Veal Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

Although this combination is a little different than my palate usually desires, I think this sounds delicious and refreshing. As I was reading this, I was craving a young Macabeo. It has perfect lime character that will match the mint.

Click here for the recipe from Smitten Kitchen.


Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime, and Mint

This recipe jumped out at me as I was looking through the Smitten Kitchen blog pages. It looked so fun and presented quite the challenge when developing a pairing for it. I want to cut the oil with some acid in the wine and pick up on the vegetable flavors from the broccoli. A crisp Chilean Sauvignon Blanc should do the trick.

Let me know what you think. Here’s the recipe.


Broccoli Parmesan Fritters



8 ounces (1 small-to-medium bundle, 225 grams) fresh broccoli (3 cups chopped)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes or several grinds of black pepper
Olive or vegetable oil for frying

Prepare your broccoli: Separate the florets from the biggest stem(s). Cut the florets into 1-inch chunks. To prepare the stems, I like to peel them, as the skin can be thick and doesn’t cook quickly, then slice them into 1/2-inch lengths. You should have about 3 cups of chopped broccoli total.

Steam your broccoli until tender but not mushy: Use whatever method you prefer. My quickie, lazy method is to bring a 1/2-inch or so of water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add the broccoli, place a lid on it and simmer it for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the broccoli, then set it aside to cool slightly.

In the bottom of a large bowl, lightly beat your egg. Add the flour, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Then, add the somewhat cooled broccoli and, using a potato masher, mash the broccoli just a bit. You’re looking to keep the bits recognizable, but small enough (1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks) that you can press a mound of the batter into a fritter in the pan. Once mashed a bit, stir or fold the ingredients together the rest of the way with a spoon. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Once hot, add a good slick of oil (I usually use a mix of olive and vegetable oil), about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Once the oil is hot (you can test it by flicking a droplet of water into it; it should hiss and sputter), scoop a two tablespoon-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, then flatten it slightly with your spoon or spatula. Repeat with additional batter, leaving a couple inches between each. Once brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, then to a serving plate if you’ll be eating them shortly or a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you’d like to keep them warm for a while until needed. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. Serve with some of the suggestions listed in the head notes, above.

This is a fun twist to a classic seafood treat. Sounds perfect for summertime to me! Especially when you pair it with a fresh, no-oak Chardonnay. One that has crisp citrus tones that you may find in the Central Coast. Delicious.

Click here for the recipe or see below.


Cilantro Lime Shrimp




  • 2 Tbsp high smoke point oil such as grape seed oil, or canola oil
  • 1-2 Serrano chiles, sliced into thin rings
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice


1 Place a large sauté pan or a wok over your strongest burner on high heat. Let the pan heat up for a minute and then add the oil. Use a high smoke point oil since you will be cooking the shrimp on very high heat. Let the oil heat until it’s shimmering. If it starts to smoke, remove the pan from the heat for a moment.

2 Add the chiles to the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat with oil. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed for 1 minute before tossing again so they get a little bit of a sear. Stir-fry until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro, then the lime juice.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve alone, over rice, or in a folded heated flour or corn tortilla.

Recipes like this are a huge hit in my family. Everyone loves pasta night….duh! With this, I would serve a full bodied Sauvignon Blanc that picks up on the herbs. How about a nice Chilean version?

Get the recipe here!

Chicken Florentine Pasta

Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman”, has done it again. This bruschetta panini is wonderful. As far as a wine pairing, I’m really going out on a limb because this wine is rather difficult to find. A Pinot Nero Blanc…White Pinot Noir from Italy…would be INCREDIBLE with this.

Click here for the recipe.



Bruschetta Panini


I’ll admit, when I first read this recipe I was a bit skeptical. Sounds like a pretty interesting combination, right? But this is one of those recipes where you are full when you are done preparing it…you have to taste a little bit of this and a little of that because it is all so fresh and delicious. With this different, delicious salad I am thinking a Moscato D’Asti. It’s a tough pairing, and the Moscato can’t be too sweet!

Enjoy! Check out the recipe here.



Cantaloupe Salad with Basil, Fresh Mozzarella, and Onions

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