Wine 101: Food And Wine Pairing

wine pairing harry dalian

Taken from Kendall-Jackson’s own website, here are the basics of wine pairing:

  • Pair Similar Flavors
    • Wine with similar flavors pair well together – fish with lemon sauce pairs well with citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Pair Similar Weight And Texture
    • Pair light, medium, and heavy dishes with corresponding wines – both medium and rich, Lobster and Chardonnay go very well together.
  • Pair Same Sweetness
    • Wine should always be of equal sweetness, if not more sweet, than the dish it’s paired with – pork chops and apple sauce are perfect with sweet Riesling.
  • Pair Crisp With Salt
    • A crips wine balances salty food – kalamata olives and feta tapas are complemented by crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Pair According To Sauce
    • Light citrus sauces go well with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, heavy cream and mushroom sauces pair with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and red and meat sauces go well with Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah.
  • Pair For The Spice
    • Spicy foods are relieved by sweet wines – hot Asian foods go very well with Riesling.
  • Pair Tannins With Fat
    • Tannic wines cut through fat leaves in the mouth – Cabernet Sauvignon pairs great with steak.

Click on this infographic for an easy visual guide for what foods pair with what wines:

pairing wine and food harry dalian

Autumn Spirits: 5 Wineries To Visit

Harry DalianAs the season of apple and pumpkin picking is upon us, the smell of fall is in the air, and it’s the perfect weather for wine tasting too. Head to Virginia and Maryland for some of the best wines for autumn this year. According to The Washington Post, here are 5 wineries you can’t miss:

Old Westminster Winery
The past five years, Old Westminster Winery has impressed with its hand-crafted wines. This season (starting Nov. 7th), they will be opening a new tasting room to add to the experience. Recommendations include: any of the 2014 whites, but especially, the Greenstone (a blend of sauvignon and viognier) or the albariño. Keep a lookout for co-owners and siblings Drew Baker and Ashli Baker Johnson, who manage the vineyards and tasting room, respectively.
Paradise Springs Winery
Located in the corner of the southwestern region of Fairfax County, Paradise Spring keeps gaining in popularity. October 3rd, co-founder Kirk Wiles and his winemaker partner Rob Cox are releasing their 50/50 blend of petit verdot and tannat. The grapes are homegrown from the Williams Gap VIneyard in Fauquier County. Continuing to grow his business, Wiles has been traveling out to Santa Barbara, CA, creating yet another wine.
Casanel Vineyards & Winery
Family-owned and run, Casanel Vineyards & Winery was created by Casey Nelson and her husband Nelson in 2006. Two years ago, they decided to change directions and hired two winemaker consultants: Katell Griaud and Lucie Morton. Morton is the product of famed winemaker Michel Rolland. Together with the Nelson’s daughter Katie, they have released new reds including petit verdot, cabernet, and sauvignon. New whites include: a pinot gris and a chardonnay.
Big Cork Vineyards
Situated on rolling hills in Maryland, Big Cork Vineyards is picturesque and serene. The decor is quirky with cork-themed bar stools and a motif of Big Cork’s new labels throughout. Their food from their kitchen is also delicious so plan to stay for a late lunch.
Granite Heights Winery
Being right off of U.S. Route 29, Granite Heights Winery provides easy access to its perfected red wines. The 2011 reds are certainly something to try, but the soon to be released 2012’s and 2013’s are the real showstoppers. There are other goodies to find here too including homemade jams and homegrown fruits.

White & Red Wine Chiller

Perfect for those nearly Summer, not yet Fall days. Enjoy responsibly!


Basque Wine Tasting in NYC

Check out this great video about a Basque wine tasting in NYC! It’s great to get out and explore new foods, cultures, tastes, and experiences – all available in this oyster we call New York. Enjoy!

The Expert Way to Host a Summer Party

Harry Dalian Wine

Martha’s Vineyard is a place that many think of fondly in terms of summer and vacations. It’s a beautiful place that offers great wine from gorgeous vineyards, and is where many people go to get away from the bustle of every day life in primarily New York or Boston.

Summer is synonymous with Martha’s Vineyard. If you haven’t ventured out there, it is definitely worth the trip. It’s surprising how such a beautiful place with great positivity can be so close to the place you live and work in every day. The Vineyard at Martha’s Vineyard is a great place to host parties, events, or even weddings.

Creating, curating, and cultivating a beautiful summer event means understanding and imagining the scene, the vibe, and the people. Most importantly, we want to create an environment that is comfortable, memorable, and stunning. However, invoking the feeling of summer can be tough if some people are especially bogged down by this past years’ brutal winter, or by crazy work schedules. To get your guests to feel this feeling, It’s important to think of details; little things for people to focus on – such as candles, pillows, table settings, really immerse the summer culture into your environment.

A great idea that never fails: Make the best lemonade anyone has ever tried. Try sprucing it u p with fresh strawberries and high quality, chilled vodka. Have this on tap for guests to help themselves. Most importantly, it is important to have a great selection of different types of wine within each color, but make sure to have plenty of Rosé! Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to throw a great summer-themed party. It’s important to try to create these moments that later become good memories!

Great Cocktail Recipe

5 Best Wine Pairing Rules

Pairing wine with food can be tricky, especially when you’re hosting guests who are big wine lovers.
Here are a few simple rules to breezing through pairing wines with foods!

1. Serve a very dry Rose with appetizers. A good Rose brings together fresh acidity and light body of white wines along with the fruity, hearty characteristics of reds. Rose is the perfect middle ground to pair with any foods.

2. Serve un-oaked white wine with any citrus-based foods. Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino wines have bright and citrusy accents that heightens other foods with lemony flavors.

3. Spicy foods call for low-alcohol wines. Alcohol accentuates spicy food to make it hotter. German Rieslings, with a touch of sweet flavor, help ease the spiciness.

4. Lighter meats’ sauce determines the wine pairing. The main protein in a dish isn’t the primary flavor. In most cases, the sauce determines the accompanying wine.

5. Lighter wine for desserts. Too much sweetness can be overwhelming, it’s best to choose a lighter wine that is a bit dryer help ease the sweetness factor. Moscato d’Asti is a great choice with fruity desserts.

Harry Dalian Wine

The Grade Cellars – Journey Through Wine Country

Three Reasons to Drink Bordeaux

It’s time to give Bordeaux another chance!Harry Dalian

For centuries, Bordeaux is what the upper class drank. Bordeaux has been mentioned in many diaries from ages ago mentioning certain types of Bordeaux. Even Richard Nixon was known to enjoy a glass of Château Margaux. Recently, it’s been seen that Bordeaux has become the first choice of drink of internet moguls, hedge fund managers, and Chinese billionaires.

Simply stated, Bordeaux as a whole has never been better. The wines from the top 60 produces of red wine originally designated as classé in 1855 are representing a small fraction of the world’s largest wine region by volume.

The result after removing the classified growths from consideration is that most of these wines are actually to expensive for regular consumption. The vast sea of wine, some good, some not so good, and most lie somewhere in between. Recently, there is more good wine than bad.

Most of the wines that you’ll find in markets today are produced in the excellent supper-ripe 2009 vintage, the more structured but still-ripe 2010 or the charming 2011 vintage. Viticulture and winemaking have been improved throughout the region of Bordeaux. There are still however some challenging vintages -2012 and 2013- and for the most part, the days of thin, weedy, harshly tannic wines are over. The Bordeaux wines are surprisingly affordable. There are hundreds of wines from the 2009-2012 vintages that are rated ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ for less than $40.

With the balanced use of oak and moderate alcohol levels and the generally refreshing acids, the Bordeaux wines are impressively versatile at any occasion. In a world of constantly improving on the latest and greatest, it is worth remembering that even a conservative region like Bordeaux changes over time and now is the time to rediscover it’s gifts.

1. Chateau Carignan (Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux): The 2009 is mostly suppleness and warmth, all while the 2010 shows more structure.

2. Chateau Maison Blanche (Médoc): This Merlot-based wine is round and ripe.

3. Chateau de Sours (Bordeaux): An approachable wine marked by ripe fruit and finely balanced oak tastes.


Best Value Wines

Harry Dalian, Trader Joe's WineThe best wines come from Italy, France, Southern California… Or do they?

Yes, many famous vineyards are in those locations, and come from those climates. You can buy from these locations, however, it does not mean you have to spend top dollar on a very expensive bottle. Do you have the underlying need to impress a date or family member with your knowledge of wine and the sophistication with which you select it? Don’t forget that it can be so much fun to sample the various wines you can find from other areas whose qualities have not been built up on word of mouth and marketing through the grapevine. One of the best places to try a handful of wines you might have missed is Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s, if you haven’t been there recently, has amazing prices. On both food and wine, Trader Joe’s pretty much undercuts all its competition. It has been known affectionately as “the poor man’s Whole Foods”, or should be known as the Smart Buyer’s Whole Foods. Here are a few options:

Purple Moon Wine

Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you the prices up front. Instead I’ll go into the qualities.

Purple Moon Wine comes from a likable vineyard in California. It is a Red wine with easy drinkability and a medium body. Not as harsh or bitter as some Reds, Purple Moon Wine is great for those who love the taste of Red, but would like to be able to drink it with the ease of a White. You can find Purple Moon Wine at a Trader Joe’s wherever wines are sold. The price… now you can have it… it only $3.99

Josefina Syrah Rosé Paso Robles (2012)

Josefina Syrah Rosé Paso Robles comes from San Antonio, Texas by the San Antonio Winery. While it may not compare to the easiness of the Purple Moon Wine, San Antonio does a good job with a Rosé. While the color does not match up in the way you would imagine with most Rosés, the taste is particularly nice, and it is well more than a bargain at $4.99

For more wines at a great value, stay tuned!