Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Often Cook With Wine...

Since I'm a sommelier, it goes without saying that I love pairing wine with food.  Often times, though, people only think they can pair wine with really complicated or unique foods.  To this I completely disagree.  I'm also a mother of picky children, so if I waited to have a glass of wine with my supper until I had complicated or unique foods, I would never get to enjoy wine!   Because of this, I have become simplistically creative when pairing wine with food.  For instance, last night I paired a 2005 Manzone Barolo with Pizza Hut supreme pizza...and it was an excellent pairing!  I have paired many reds--Merlots, Cabs, Noirs--with grilled steak because my son is a meat and potatoes guy.  I also have learned to marinade chicken and beef in simple sauces made with wine for a natural "marriage" pairing.  Ultimately, I have found that good wines go with so many different foods, not just foods that take hours of prep and hard-to-find ingredients.  So tonight, no matter what your meal, go to your wine fridge, cellar, or shelf and pull out a bottle.  Enjoy a glass of wine with your meal...I know I will! 

To help with your simple wine pairing, here are my two go-to, oh-so-easy wine marinade recipes:

White Wine Chicken Breast Marinade

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 white wine (your choice)
1/4 cup water
1 package Italian dressing seasoning
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine oil, wine, and water with the Italian seasoning packet in a bowl.  Add the chicken breasts.  Let marinade for up two two hours.  Grills until juices run clear.  Serve with the wine used in marinade and seasoned fries.  Enjoy!

Red Wine Beef Tips Marinade

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine (your choice)
1/4 cup water
1 package Montreal Steak seasoning
1 pound beef tips

Combine oil, wine, water, and Montreal seasoning packet in a bowl.  Add the beef tip chunks.  Let marinade for up to four hours.  Grill steak to medium rare.  Serve with wine used in the marinade.  Serve with baked sweet potatoes.  Enjoy!