What We're Drinking with Fresh

by Matt McGinnis

Pairing wine with food can be straightforward with a few helpful tips. Match the weight of the wine with the weight of the food: Light foods go better with crisp, light wines; heavy foods are better with big wines, regardless of whether they’re red or white. And any food that benefits from a squeeze of lemon, such as fish, will go well with sauvignon blanc or similarly tart white wines (but avoid pairing these wines with sweet foods). Here’s what we’re drinking with recipes found in this Fresh issue:

Lightened-Up Pimiento Cheese. A Southern staple, pimiento cheese is a creamy, savory treat with satisfying flavors that beg for a bold red wine. You can’t go wrong with a tempranillo from Texas. The bouncy blackberry, zippy cherry and black plum flavors of the Spicewood Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo Texas High Plains is a lovely match for the tangy cheese. $24

Braised Collards in Tomato-Onion Gravy. This complex dish with the complementary flavors of bitter collards in smoky, savory gravy is excellent with a fruity, yet dry, rosé wine. The crisp and light Brennan Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Dry Rosé, with its ripe strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate flavors, pleasantly accentuates this dish. $20

Vegetable Corn Bread. Sweetness from the fresh corn and spiciness from the chilies need a white wine with a little bit of heft. The Llano Estacado 2014 “1836” White is an ideal pick. Made from a blend of roussanne, chardonnay and viognier grapes, it has lemon, peach and honey flavors with just enough weight to soothe the sting of the peppers. $16

Claire’s Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies. The decadent, dense, moist and creamy brownies oozing with dark chocolate call for an equally lust-inducing dessert wine. The Haak Winery Jacquez Port, made from Jacquez grapes grown near the Gulf Coast, plays well with its own chocolate flavors layered with dried plum, blueberry and caramel. $17

Poached Perch in Parchment. This delicate, light fish is well matched with a bright and lively white wine such as Lewis Wines 2014 Swim Spot. The slightly fizzy wine, made with blanc du bois grapes, has energetic flavors of peach, pear and citrus to bring the herbal ingredients to life and tame the heat of the red pepper flakes. $14

Bourbon Grilled Pork Chops. Sweet, tangy and smoky flavors are an irresistible combination. Bending Branch Winery 2012 Texas Tannat has the goods to handle the sweetness from the peach and honey, the spice of the ginger and the grilled goodness. Made from the tannat grape grown in France and Uruguay, this powerful red wine has blackberry, plum, black cherry, coffee and cocoa flavors—along with good acidity that pairs well with pork off the grill. $30

What We're Cooking

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