Choosing a Wine With Dinner

port wine and creme caramel dessert pairing
Image by Experience Taste

Choosing a wine with dinner can be difficult. This led me to my collaboration with Diana Tudose and Daniel Hiptmair, authors of the blog, Experience Taste.  When I met them, I knew I had found something special!

The Experience Taste blog narrates the story of a couple who, while falling in love with each other, fell in love with their shared admiration for food. A perfect match, she loves to write, he loves to cook, they both love food. Together they created this food blog to share with others different ways to experience taste. They share a variety of simple recipes, from the classics to modern twists, with the goal to inspire others to cook homemade meals and live a healthier lifestyle. They also share stories, experiences and recommendations for restaurants and social events.

wine and food pairing menu

After Diana and Daniel attended one of my public cooking food with wine events, we decided to collaborate to create and host a featured dinner for four of our friends. Fiesta of Flavours highlighted 5 wines and 5 dishes, focusing on Spanish/Mexican cuisine.

Daniel and Diana’s task was to create a menu and cook the dinner. My task was to select and provide the perfect wine pairings for each course. My favourite part about planning experiences, events, dinners, etc., is figuring out the wine for dinner parties that will pair deliciously with the food![x_clear]

Check out our helpful tips for buying wine!

We began the evening with a Vine & Vintage curated charcuterie board, paired beautifully alongside the Fita Azul Intense Red Sparkling.

sparkling wine charcuterie board
red sparkling bottle of wine with cheese charcuterie board

This refreshing and perfect summer sipper from Portugal has an intense fruity structure with notes of cherry and blackberry and when chilled, was an incredible combination with the goodies on the charcuterie board. Some of the specialities featured with the charcuterie included a red pepper jelly (the group’s favourite), curried cauliflower and strawberry jam made by Hawley Crescent, a catering company committed to the quality of their food, passion for the industry and providing only the best service to their clients around the GTA. The Fita Azul was a stunning match to Hawley Crescent’s unique products.

For our second course, we enjoyed the stunning Casa Rojo La Marimorena Albarinõ from the Spanish wine region, Rías Baixas, paired with some of the best Shrimp Ceviche I have ever had. To give you an idea of how brilliant Daniel is in the kitchen, he has only tried ceviche once in his life and recreated it for our dinner, never before having made it himself. It was incredible!

Tequila Shrimp Ceviche Tostada2
Image by Experience Taste
Casa Rojo Albarino
Image by Casa Rojo

Albarinõ is a beautiful varietal that radiates peach, apple and white flower aromas and is powerful and fresh. Albarinõ gained momentum in the 80’s after Spain joined the EU.  Perfect with seafood, La Marimonena was a delicious accompaniment with the shrimp tostada ceviche.

Casa Rojo is a wine producer focused on bringing dreams to life in their vineyards by focusing on quality, trusting in the unity and support of their team, and continuing to learn every day.[x_clear]

Sweet Potato Chicken Tacos with Avocado Crema & Salsa was our third course and was paired with the Piccini Chianti Black Label. The 100% Sangiovese wine is cherry driven with a fresh fruit structure, medium body and elegant and round finish. This wine was a great pairing with chicken and worked beautifully with the Avocado Crema and Salsa. The acid, fresh fruit and smooth texture of the wine cut into the fatty avocado crema, highlighted the flavourful salsa and compliments a root vegetable like sweet potato.

Sweet potato chicken taco with Italian chianti wine pairing

The Piccini brand is one I have come to admire. A story of a family of 4th generation winemakers, grounded to the Tuscan land and its traditions, added their own success with their knowledge, value, hard work and skill. With over 130 years of winemaking, Piccini owns 5 estates in Italy and transpires their vibrant, dynamic and innovative personality through all of their wine products.[x_clear]

[x_button shape=”square” size=”large” float=”none” block=”true” href=”” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Use this chart [/x_button]

 when choosing a wine with dinner to help you pair food with wine!

Our main course, a mixed Paella, contained chorizo, chicken thighs, prawns, along with an assortment of spices, vegetables and a LOT of love. I was blown away by the massive family-style dish that was placed in front of me, full of a mesmerizing Paella.

To accompany the dish, we drank the Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir. I bought this Pinot Noir when I visited the St. Anne’s winery months ago and was saving it for a special occasion. I thought this would be the perfect time to open it, and boy was I right! This Burgundian-style Pinot is bright and bold showcasing exquisite aromas of cherry, raspberry, plum and notes of leather, earth and spicy oak.

spanish food and wine

As a wine tasting tip: the spice in the Paella (I have a high sensitivity to spice) was completely undercut by Pinot Noir and this red’s earthy characteristics complemented many ingredients of the dish. When planning to eat food containing spice or heat, it is a great idea when choosing a wine with dinner that the wine be light bodied and/or slightly sweet to contrast and bring down the spice. Although both the Pinot Noir and Paella were their own shining stars, together, they created a striking synergy.

bottle of port wine with dessert pairing

I am not big on dessert, but after seeing the Crème Caramel + Coconut Caramelized Plantains made by Daniel and also knowing what wine was completing the dinner, I couldn’t resist. With intense aromas and flavours of honey and hazelnut and the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, the Borges White Port Reserve was a stunning match to the delicious dessert.

The Borges wine company, founded by brothers Antonio and Francisco, has become a major national wine company, recognized in Portugal and around the world for their excellence in quality wine production.

reading a wine label and admiring

What an amazing night. A night of collaboration, teamwork, great company, delicious food, beautiful wine and connection. A night the six of us will rejoice in and cherish.

Thank you, Diana and Daniel, and Experience Taste, for your hospitality, hard work and of course, the outrageously incredible meal. You made choosing a wine with dinner so much fun! You can read the blog they shared about our night, here.

“More important than the food pairing is the person with whom you drink the wine”

– Christian Moueix

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and when choosing a wine with dinner to enhance your dinner parties remember to refer to our helpful tips for buying wine.