Oct 08 2008

A wine for your party or your sprinkled doughnut

Published by at 12:19 AM under Savvy Sip Tips,Wine Pairing

You are so clever. Chatting with your mom/grandma/sister/friend before the big event, you casually asked what was cooking. And with just a few off-hand comments, you went out and chose the perfect wine to match, ready to hand it to your host at the door. Now your friends all refer to you as the wine expert, the go-to guy or girl for sophisticated picks well beyond the cheapest Merlot you could find next to the napkins at the supermarket.

Just thank your good friend Natalie MacLean.

Because this writer, media personality and wine lover extraordinaire has produced an endlessly fun online wine matcher that is a match for anything you throw at it.

The long list of choices (including “turkey holiday dinner”) in the first drop-down box is only the beginning. After your main selection—snacks, for instance—you get a chance to be far more specific—donuts with sprinkles? Donuts/plain? Donuts/chocolate? Donuts/honey?

I’ve never had wine with donuts, but I’m definitely not against pairing two of the greatest foods ever. (I love chocolate-frosted Bavarian-cream varieties, myself. And I do think a tawny Port would be smashing.) But right now I’m eating a lot of squash. Microwaved and sprinkled with Sweet ‘N Low, cinnamon and spray butter. Acorn, butternut, you name it, I’m eating it. And I know my mom will be making some killer sweet potatoes for each holiday meal.

I put my question to the wine matcher. I chose “vegetables,” then “baked squash.” I received two suggestions in return: a New World Chardonnay, full-bodied and fruity, or a Viognier. Perfect! While I don’t care for Chardonnay very often, I am a fan of Viognier. And my family prefers whites all around.

Natalie takes it one step further, offering recipes to complement your ingredient. Her Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash Soup with Dark Rum Cream sounds to-die-for. If only I cooked! As it is, I’ll show up at my mom and dad’s this Thanksgiving with this delicious sounding Casa Silva Viognier from Just Grapes: vinious and floral, with a bit of orange and apricot (are there better flavors with squash?), slightly creamy and sweet.

Who’s the go-to girl? That’s right … Natalie. Check out the wine matcher, then grab your results at Just Grapes!

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