A few years ago, the Mayor of Chicago was answering questions about trying to have more healthful dishes available at the annual “Taste of Chicago” walk-around event in the downtown Grant Park.
You know, things that attendees could gobble up besides giant turkey legs, deep-dish pizza, cheesecake and fried you-name-it-on-a-stick.
Thinking on his feet, the Mayor remembered one of the new items that had been added and, attempting to defend the smorgasbord of fat-filled offerings, said, “Guacamole is good for you.”
All things in moderation, of course, and a few spoonfuls of guacamole every so often – perhaps as part of a salad or with a grilled chicken breast – won’t do the reasonably healthy person any harm.
In fact, the key ingredient in guacamole – avocado – contains the kind of fat that actually can do us some good… again, in moderation. And the even better news is that you can drink wine with it, not something that can be said of every fruit and vegetable.
The oily nature of the avocado creates a texture sensation in the mouth that is best complemented by a seemingly oily wine. Thus, when avocado is the overriding flavor of a dish, a wine such as Pinot Grigio pairs beautifully. So does Riesling, as long as it’s fermented completely dry.
With a turkey-and-avocado sandwich, where avocado takes a co-starring role, a richer wine is called for. The best match: a creamy California Chardonnay.
Slicing that avocado into a salad? Assuming the dressing isn’t overpowering, Sauvignon Blanc is a great match. Semillon would be even better, but varietal bottlings are few and far between.
Which brings us to guacamole, combining avocado with sour cream (or yogurt, for a more healthful option) with some spice for a bit of a kick.
The spice makes pairing tricky, but not impossible. We recommend a dry sparkling wine – nothing fancy, just an everyday blanc de blancs.
It’s a combination worth toasting.