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Local Winemaker Peggy Fiandaca Shares Wine Pairing Tips For All Seasons

Four half-filled wine glasses

Alas, al fresco season has arrived! For those unsure what to wine and dine on this season and beyond, we turned to Peggy Fiandaca of local LDV Winery. Prior to becoming a winemaker, Fiandaca was a long-term wine collector and food and wine enthusiast. Whatever direction your flavor profile leans, she suggests starting with wine first when planning a menu—not the other way around.“This gives you the freedom to choose the freshest ingredients and seek out local products,” she says. “You can change the ingredients, spices, proteins or food preparation methods, but you cannot change the wine!” Here are Fiandaca’s perfect pairings for every season.

Spring Wine Pairing

1. Spring Greens Paired With Viognier or Sauvignon Blanc

Spring green salad with grilled chicken

Photo by Katka Pavlickova on Unsplash

“The wine should have more acidity than the salad to balance the bitterness of the leafy greens. Viognier or sauvignon blanc have aromas of lemongrass and honeysuckle with refreshing flavors of pink grapefruit and minerality, enhancing a spring salad that is lightly dressed.”

2. Seared Ahi Tuna Paired With Grenache or Pinot Noir

Seared ahi tuna

Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

“The richness of the tuna and the lush fruit, spice and kiss of toasty oak of a medium-bodied red like a grenache or pinot noir.”

3. Grilled Rack of Provençal Lamb Paired With Syrah/Shiraz

Photo by Geraud pfeiffer from Pexels

“Herbes de Provence (lavender, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano) highlight the lamb’s richness, while the smoky flavors created by grilling sing in perfect harmony with a rich, complex syrah. Syrah typically has black and blue fruit characteristics that synchronize with herbed-crusted lamb.”

4. Red Wine-Marinated Flap Steak Paired With Petite Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon

Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash

“A wine with a strong tannin structure can croon along with a sizzling, perfectly grilled steak. Use the wine you are going to drink to marinate the steak. The bold complexity of these wines creates a symphony in the mouth alongside the meat.”

5. Strawberry Shortcake Paired With Rosé

Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash

“Wines with floral notes tend to enhance fresh fruit. A rosé of grenache has intense fruit flavors with zero residual sugar that will play off the sweetness of the strawberries and slice through the cream. You do not want a sweet rosé.”

Summer Wine Pairing

1. Chilled Fresh Corn Soup with Goat Cheese Crouton Paired With Chardonnay

Corn soup

Photo by MadMax Chef on Unsplash

“The chardonnay’s acid structure slices through the richness of the sweet corn soup, but the wine’s slight butter flavor offsets the goat cheese’s tartness.”

2. Grilled Red Wine-Marinated Flank Steak with Salsa Fresca Paired With Zinfandel

Photo by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

“The lean protein needs a wine with low tannic structure like a zinfandel, but the wine’s fruitiness also marries beautifully with the very big flavor of the grilled flank steak.”

3. Summer Apple Blueberry Pie Paired With Sauternes

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unspalsh

“French Sauternes have intense notes of honeyed apricot, butterscotch, caramel, baking spices, and fruit that will create a summer dance in your mouth with each bite of the pie.”

Fall Wine Pairing

1. Harvest Salad with Pears, Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles and Pomegranates Paired With Riesling

Pear salad

Photo by Anthony Leong from Pexels

“The acidity of a dry riesling is the perfect pairing with the pears’ sweetness, tang or pop of the pomegranates, and the rich blue cheese flavors.”

2. Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage, Porcini and Portobello Mushrooms Paired With Syrah

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

“The earthy characteristic of syrah enhances the subtle but nutty undertones of the porcini and woodsy flavor of the portobello mushrooms while complimenting the meaty, rich sauce.”

3. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Topped with Berries and Biscotti Paired With Late-Harvest Riesling

Vanilla ice cream with berries

Photo by Dennis Klein on Unsplash

“A late-harvest riesling has aromas of apricot, honey, candied lemon, ginger and jasmine with tingling acidity that highlights the creamy ice cream and sweet berries.”

Winter Wine Pairing

1. Spicy Gingered Carrot Soup Paired With Gewürztraminer

Carrot pumpkin soup with pomegranate

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

“A dry gewürztraminer has intriguing floral notes and nice spice that plays well with the winter spiced soup.”

2. Herb-Crusted Roasted Prime Rib with Roasted Potatoes and Beef Au Jus Paired With Cabernet Sauvignon

Prime rib

Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash

“This course needs a wine with good tannic structure to cut through the fattiness of a prime rib and to stand up to the richness and spice.”

3. Dark Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream Paired With Tawny Port

Chocolate mousse dessert with pomegranate

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels

“Tawny port usually has chocolate and coffee notes along with some sweetness that compliments the tannic structure of dark chocolate.”

Suggested Reading: How to Design the Perfect Wine Cellar



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