Wine Maniacs Wine Bar & Bistro

The Daily Feature

Today’s Feature is …

A question that has been asked of me more times than I can count;

How do you pair wine to food?

My response is always the same; I just do!…

I know it sounds like I am avoiding an answer, however it is pure truth. I generally find myself pretty bored in the kitchen, repeatedly making the same dishes over and over again. The excitement I find in the kitchen is being able to create something innovative and palate worthy, whether trying new ingredients, new cooking techniques or new flavor combinations. I think, generally, any Chef will tell you the same.

This is where wine pairing comes into play! With hundreds of styles, varietals and regions around the world, wine affords me a whole new bounty of ingredients, and takes my creative freedom to a whole new level. Being able to pinpoint certain attributes of a specific wine and balance them with different flavors, textures and ingredients is what makes the world go round, in my culinary book.

It is difficult to put into words how the wine pairing process unfolds. It is achieved by smell, taste & experience, and not with your mind. My best advice is simple….Drink more wine! I’m not saying with breakfast or have 2 bottles every night before you go to bed. I am saying enjoy wine with food.  Have a glass with dinner. Cook with it. Taste different wines against different foods or individual ingredients. Wine will soon become far less intimidating and you will gain much more exposure to the nuances wine has to offer when paired with food.- HFG

Please check out the following recipe with wine notes; which was the fan favorite at our last Wine Pairing Dinner with Mullineux Family Wines of South Africa.

Tasting Notes – 2009 Mullineux Straw Wine
Accolades: 96/100 Neal Martin (
How can a wine this thick and unctuous be so focused? Chenin Blanc is picked at normal ripeness and air dried for three weeks, resulting in an amazing wine of intense sweetness, with a supernal brilliance beamed in by exhilarating acidity. Peach, Dried Apricot, Orange Marmalade, and honey are elaborated by notes of Almond, Tea and Tobacco. This singular wine demonstrates the potential of both Chenin Blanc and South Africa.

Paired with Bleu Cheese Fondue Skewer
4 ounces crumbled Bleu Cheese
1/2 cup dry White Wine
8oz. cubed Cream Cheese
8oz. cubed Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Tbsp. Kirsch (Cherry Brandy)

1. Heat Wine and Cream Cheese, stirring until Cheese melts.
2. Add Monterey Jack Cheese, a little at a time, stirring constantly.
3. Blend in Bleu Cheese, When smooth, add Kirsch.
4. Serve with a skewer of alternated Apple, Grapes, and cubed French Bread