Summertime Wine & Dine Party Pairings

In this mid-July summer heat, it can be a challenge to think of what to eat while you're enjoying a little happy hour. You'll want to keep things light and fresh, while you sip the day away with some delectable dishes. We asked one of our favorite foodies, Michelle Russell, for some suggestions on party pairings for daytime outdoor fun.

Here's the menu:

Baked Goat Cheese with Spring Lettuce Salad paired with Sauvignon Blanc
It doesn't get any fresher than a salad, but you can add a little indulgence when it's topped with crispy yet gooey baked goat cheese and crunchy walnuts. The "traditionally clean, acidic, and fruity, Sauvignon Blanc has the ability to cut through the rich creaminess of the goat cheese therefore preparing the palate for another bite" so eat your heart out. Besides, what goes better with a salad than some fruit-forward, adult grape juice?

BLT with Caesar Mayo paired with a dry Rosé
Put a spin on a tried and true Southern Classic, by whipping up some fresh Caesar mayo to smother on your bread. This dish is something special to make you salivate. When it comes to wine, we can rosé all day, so Michelle let us know that "sweet and acidic peak-season tomatoes pair nicely with a rosé that has enough juicy fruit and crisp acidity to match the tomatoes" in your BLT. Sure sounds like a perfect pair to us!

White Port and Watermelon Granita
Sometimes, we like to eat our wine so thankfully our foodie friend suggested a fantastically refreshing frozen treat that will still beat the heat. She tells us, "This pairing is like eating a grown-up fruit salad. When your food is all out sweet, just as peak-season watermelon is, your wine should be also. White port is made from white grapes and can be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a dessert wine with light desserts and fresh fruit. Here it becomes part of the dish." The fruity granita can double as a dessert or a frozen poolside cocktail.

It is perfectly acceptable to experiment when mixing and matching wine profiles with your favorite summer dishes. Your beverage can compliment, contrast, or cut the flavors in your meal.

Generally, we know that sweet goes with heat, so you might want to try having spicy fish tacos with a sweet, fruity Riesling. We also know that citrus and seafood are an effortless pair, so oysters are commonly matched with Champagne or a tart Chardonnay. If you live more on the red side of wine, we know that bold reds tend to pair well with meat, so you can fire up the grill to make juicy lamb burgers to go along with some spiced Shiraz. 

Sometimes, the best flavors can be found in the most unexpected pairings, so prepare your outdoor kitchen and chill your wine because you might just surprise yourself and that's something worth toasting to. Now, who's hungry?


- Melissa Vidaurre 

Sources: 1, 2, & 3 

Published on Tuesday, July 12, 2016