Grilling & Smoking Offers New Wine Pairing Opportunities

September 06, 2014

The summer is a popular time for grilling and smoking our foods. Anything that allows you to be outside is good, right? These cooking methods add a ton of flavor to dishes, which we can all agree is the point. However, adding these intense flavors means the same wines we would normally pair may not fit the bill. You know what that means… a whole new world of wine and food pairing opportunities.

Grilling (particularly meats) adds somewhat of a bitter taste while smoking adds a sweet and smoky element. Consider this, a roasted chicken breast would most commonly pair well with a lighter white such as Vidal Blanc or Catawba, whereas the toastiness of a grilled chicken breast would be complimented exceptionally by an oaky Chardonel. The same dish, prepared two different ways opens up the pairing possibilities.

Did you know that in Georgia (the country) there’s an incredibly popular dish called shashlik (which essentially just means smoked meat) that is smoked over grape vines? And they’re not the only ones. Smoking with grape vines has a fairly large following in the world of smoking connoisseurs. A couple things to note: Grape vines should be added sparingly if you’re new to smoking with them. They add a fruity flavor, but too many can add a tart component as well. So, until you’ve found the level of tart that is right for you, take it slow. Other flavors can be obtained by soaking the vines in wine, beer or tea prior to smoking.

If you’re more of a griller than a smoker, don’t forget the sauces play a large part in the overall taste profile you achieve. Often the sauces dominate the dish. Here’s a handy guide for pairing wines and sauces. Grilling often imparts a charred taste that can be mirrored nicely by the bitter edge of tannins found in bold red wines such as Norton.

So, when you’re grilling and smoking this season, play with your wine and food pairings, keeping in mind that the dish itself is but a small part of the equations. (The great thing about this equation… there’s no wrong answer!) If you need a good place to start, check out the new Missouri Wines food pairing guide.

Missouri Wine pairs well with food (no matter how you prefer to cook it)! 

From the Vine to Wine

Pairing Bread with Missouri Wine

September 01, 2014

Bread comes in many delectable forms, and January is a month devoted to honoring this staple. The first 31 days of the year have been declared National Bread Month. January also includes National Croissant Day (January 30).  Missouri wines are the perfect accompaniment to fête this classic comfort food.

Yeast is an ingredient in wine and many types of breads. The flavors and aromas of bread dough and biscuits can be detected in some varietals. In addition to similarities in taste, wine and bread have a  history together that dates back at least as far as ancient Greece, where wine-soaked bread was a common breakfast. When Greek men got together to recite poems, they drank wine with either bread or cheese. The ancient Greeks also made a bread called psadista from fine flour, oil and wine as an offering to the earth gods and goddesses.

Bread is appropriate for meals at any time of day, which gives wine-lovers many opportunities to try out pairings. For breakfast or brunch, a fruit-forward, Vignoles is a match for French toast. Pour a sparkling wine while indulging in the flaky layers of a buttery croissant or pair a fruity Catawba with a decadent raspberry white chocolate muffin. A light lunch of salad and caramelized onion and goat cheese bread calls for a crisp Seyval or full-bodied Norton. Beat the winter blues with a hot bowl of soup, a slice of old world cheese bread and a glass of Traminette. A dry white wine such as Chardonel complements the cornmeal, buttermilk and bacon drippings in southern-style cornbread. Serve this traditional side dish with a hearty chili to warm up on an icy evening. If you still have room for dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with banana-apple bread and a crisp Chardonel.

When wine and bread come together in recipes, the results are delicious. Dry red wine, such as Norton or Chambourcin, is used to make the dough for red wine rosemary bread, and sweet and peppery-hot  wine biscuits. Leftover white wine is put to tasty use in savory olive, bacon and cheese bread that’s ideal for a quick lunch, dinner or appetizer.

With so much bread to devour, January is the ideal month to explore the many delightful ways that these diverse baked goods can be enhanced by your favorite Missouri wines.

Missouri wines pair well with celebrating bread!

Sweet Cuts Heat: Pairing Spicy Food

August 28, 2014

Are you a thrill junkie when it comes to food? Always looking for the next deliciously spicy dish to tickle your taste buds? Well we have some exciting info to share with you… sweet cuts heat! That’s why an off-dry or semi-sweet Vignoles wine is the perfect pairing to your favorite dishes that bring the heat. The residual sugar coats your mouth and throat. It’s served chilled and the cold temperature provides the cooling relief your brain is begging for. And lastly, the fruity flavors compliment the sweet and spicy characteristics found in most Thai and Chinese recipes, specifically coconut milk curry dishes.

Hot foods dull your taste buds, and you need a really flavorful wine to stand up to them. Vignoles fits the bill. Try an award-winning Missouri Vignoles wine with one of these delicious dishes for a truly complementary food and wine pairing adventure.

Traditional Chicken Pad Thai

Sweet and Spicy Mango Shrimp

Spicy Korean Pork Spare Ribs

Scallops with Spicy Curry Sauce and Cous Cous

General Tso’s Chicken

Vignoles pairs well with spicy food!

August is Peachy

August 26, 2014

One of the most delightful parts of summer in Missouri is fresh, local peaches coming into season. No wonder August is National Peach Month! The Peach is known as the Queen of Fruit and many bow to her reign of deliciousness. If you’re a loyal follower of peach season, read on. This info is for you!

Fresh peaches are a wonderful treat on their own, but add a glass of semi-sweet Missouri Vignoles wine and they’re taken to a whole new level. Known for classic desserts such as cobbler and pie, peaches are a staple in most mid-west households and definitely qualify as comfort food. Don’t relegate this royal fruit to after-dinner, though. It’s good any time of day, and here’s a collection of recipes and pairing recommendations to help you enjoy peaches on your plate and in your glass for as long as the season lasts (and maybe a little further too!).

For Brunch:

These make-ahead recipes are a great way to start the day with some delicious fruit and wholesome goodness.

Baked Peach Almond Oatmeal

Peach Streusel Muffins

For Lunch:

These fast and easy lunch recipes are a fresh and delicious way to savor the middle of the day. Both call for a balsamic reduction. Amp up the flavor by adding a rich Missouri red wine like Norton to the reduction, instructions here.

Tomato, Peach and Burrata Salad

Summer Peach and Balsamic Pizza

For a Snack (or appetizer!):

This recipe is easy enough to just have at home but beautiful enough to present to guests as a fancy dish. Best of both worlds! Add some thinly sliced or diced peaches to the preserves when making this for an even more peachy dish! Pair with a smooth and fruity Missouri Chambourcin for a surprisingly delicious combination.

Basil, Bacon and Peach Baked Brie

For the Main Course:

Sweet, savory and unstoppable… these recipes are sure to please! Pair with a glass of semi-dry Vignoles wine for a delicious dinner any day of the week.

Grilled Peach, Honey Goat Cheese, and Spiced Pecan Salad

Chipotle Peach Chicken Tacos

Barbecued Shrimp and Peach Kabobs

For the Finish:

Delightful desserts that are a fun take on classics. Pair with a Late Harvest Vignoles for a photo finish to any meal!

Honey-Roasted Peaches with Toasted-Almond Frangipane

Peach Shortcakes with Lavender Cream

In your Glass:

Peaches and vignoles are such a great pair, why not just put them in the glass together? And don’t forget there are some delicious, award-winning peach wines made by Missouri wineries. Look for them in your local retailers.

Peach Wine Slushies

Peach Pie Sangria

Make it Last:

Peach season doesn’t last forever, but here’s a great tutorial on freezing peaches so you can feed your love for the Queen of Fruit even after fall arrives.

Missouri wine pairs well with peaches!

Inside Look at the Missouri Wine Competition

State Fair Food and Wine Pairings

Vignoles: Missouri’s Favorite White Wine

July 31, 2014

If you’ve visited Missouri wineries, it’s likely you’ve tried a wine made from of Vignoles (veen – yole) grapes. This incredibly versatile varietal is the most commonly grown white grape in the state. It’s used to make wines ranging from refreshingly dry to sinfully sweet Late Harvest dessert wines. It is a favorite among Missouri winemakers and consumers alike for a multitude of reasons.

Its popularity is hallmarked by prestigious glassware company, Riedel Crystal, taking notice. At the end of 2013, Georg Riedel, 10th generation head of Riedel Crystal, led a panel of Missouri winemakers and sommeliers through an extensive workshop to select a varietal specific glass for Missouri Vignoles. This is a great honor and culminated in the selection of an exceptional glass that perfectly highlights the wonderful attributes of this versatile varietal.

Take a look inside this exciting process and find out where you can get your own Riedel Vignoles glass by watching this video.

Vignoles’ popularity comes in part because of how food-friendly it is. A vast range of dishes pair well with the floral nose and fruity flavors characteristic of Vignoles. A spicy Mexican or Asian dish matches perfectly with a semi-sweet or sweet Vignoles. A dry or semi-dry Vignoles is delicious with Swiss cheese or salmon. You know that delicious fruit chutney you make, it’s just begging to be served with Vignoles. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a Late Harvest Vignoles wine with a piece of cheesecake.

It’s true that good food deserves great wine, but Vignoles also stands alone for sipping, especially during the hot summer months. Whether you’re relaxing poolside or socializing on the patio, Vignoles is the perfect tag-along.

There’s a Vignoles for everyone. Now that you know a little more about this French-American hybrid grape and why it has made such an impression, invite it to your next summer gathering.

Cool Off This Summer with Wine Popsicles

July 21, 2014

As the temperature rises, we all tend to look for anything that will cool us off. One great and delicious option is an ice-cold popsicle, but why not take it one step further and make it a delicious wine-infused popsicle? Summer fun, indeed! Try out these recipes with your favorite Missouri wines for a tasty treat sure to be refreshing and help you relax on a hot summer day.

  • Red Wine Popsicles:

Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles are a deliciously refreshing treat combining the fruity flavor of the roasted strawberries with sweet red wine and balsamic vinegar. [via Pastry Affair]

* Try with a Missouri Corcord or one of these award-winning wines.

Red Wine Fudgesicles will not only sate your desire for something cold, but your sweet tooth will also be pleased. Dark chocolate and dry red wine make such a great pair, even frozen. [via A Beautiful Mess]

* Try with a Missouri Chambourcin or one of these award-winning wines.

  • White Wine Popsicles

White Sangria Ice Pops take an already popular summer beverage and freeze it. Yes, please. Count us in. You can customize this one easily to include your favorite fruits. [via Daisy’s World]

* Try with a Missouri Vignoles or one of these award-winning wines.

  • Sparkling Wine Popsicles

Nectarine (or Peach) Bellini Popsicles take this classic brunch favorite to a whole new level. [via e is for eat]

French 75 Popsicles are a classy way to cool down on a hot summer day, and with fresh lemon juice it’s sure to be refreshing. [via Reclaiming Provincial]

* Try with a Missouri sparkling wine.

Try one of these delicious frozen concoctions or make up your own. Remember when you’re measuring out the ingredients that a good rule of thumb is 3 to 1 on the mixer (juice, fruit, etc.) to wine ratio if you want your popsicles to freeze.

Missouri wine pairs well with popsicles!

Build Your Best Sangria

July 11, 2014

Sangria is delicious and refreshing, but most importantly, its flavor combinations are limitless! The primary components of sangria are: wine, fruit, liquor, juice or mixer (soda, lemonade, etc), and a sweetener of some kind. Use this guide to build the sangria recipe that is perfect for you. Cheers! 

Build Your Best Sangria

Get Our Newsletter

Our bimonthly newsletter contains exciting information on upcoming events in wine country, tasty recipes to recreate at home and even occasional giveaways.

Request A Winery Guide

Use our guide to plan your next adventure in wine country. It contains a listing of Missouri wineries, map and key information to expand your wine knowledge.

I would like to receive your newsletter and other promotions