Tag Archives: wine pairing

Celebrate Oktoberfest With These German-Inspired Cheese and Beer Pairings

Market District German cheese beer pairing

Last week, I was the lucky invited guest of Market District at a cheese and beer paring event in its Robinson Township store.* Because of the time of year (Oktoberfest, anyone?), the evening’s activities centered around those two hallmarks of Bavarian cuisine. Yes, they’re not exactly hallmarks of an anti-inflammatory diet, but I am a firm follower of the rule of moderation, so a night of cheating with cheese and beer still works with that philosophy.

Giant Eagle’s cheese category manager, Gianfranco DiCarlo, Jr., led the group through a tasting of five beer and cheese combinations, most of them German inspired, which really opened my eyes to how beer can influence the taste of food. I’ve done the same thing with wine many times, but never beer, but as DiCarlo pointed out, beer is actually much easier than wine to pair with foods, especially cheese. I’m totally editorializing here—DiCarlo did not use this particular analogy, merely the essence—but wine is like a cat, a little finicky and difficult to get along with unless you find the right combination. Beer is more like a dog, friendlier with a variety of foods and generally easygoing with everyone. Continue reading

This Chart Helps You Pick the Perfect Wine for Your Meal

Wine Pairing Chart

Just in time for your Valentine’s Day dinner planning, I’ve found this handy infographic. Although I don’t claim to be a wine-pairing expert, in my experience the chart’s pretty accurate. I especially like how each type of food has more than one option, because wine pairing is not really cut and dry. For example, I tend to heavily favor the red wine spectrum on this chart, while the sweet white wines are entirely off my radar. But that’s just my personal preference. The only hard and fast rule when it comes to wine is to drink what you like and not worry about any other rules you might be breaking. Continue reading

What to Sip With Your Holiday Dinners

Copyright Emiliano De Laurentiis, Flickr.com

Note. In honor of the upcoming holidays and all of their associated dinners, I’m revisiting a post I wrote last year for the Pittsburgh Observer (November 2009). Happy Thanksgiving!

I recently completed a six-week wine appreciation course through the Community College of Beaver County’s noncredit class program. My fellow classmates and I were fortunate to be taught by two wine experts, Alex Sebastian, owner of the Wooden Angel restaurant in Beaver, PA, and Belinda Alvarez, a sales consultant for Southern Wine and Spirits of Pennsylvania. In addition to putting together his restaurant’s award-winning, all-American wine list, Sebastian is also a member of the wine advisory council on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PALCB).

To help you impress your friends and family with your ability to pair food and wine at your holiday meals, here are some tips I learned during the course. Continue reading