Grilling This Weekend? Get Out the Moscato and Pinot Nor

Grilling season has arrived, which means we’re always looking for versatile food preparations. The gold standard is a dish that can be enjoyed with both white wine and red wine.

This is such a dish, as it pairs nicely with lightly sweet Moscato (white) and Pinot Noir. This recipe yields 4 servings.

PORK CHOPS WITH NECTARINE SALSA

Ingredients

• 2 nectarines, pitted and diced

• 1 ripe tomato, seeded and diced

• ¼ cup diced onion

• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

• 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

• ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

• 1 tsp. cumin

• 1 tsp. chili powder

• ¼ tsp. black pepper

• 8 boneless pork chops (4-oz. each)

• 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preparation

1. Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat (375-450 degrees F). Lightly oil grate.

2. For salsa, toss together nectarines, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice and red pepper in a bowl until well combined.

3. In a small bowl, stir together cumin, chili powder and black pepper.

4. Brush both sides of pork chops with oil, and season evenly with cumin mixture.

5. Grill chops (covered) until lightly browned (about 4 minutes per side), until a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 145 degrees F.

6. Serve with salsa.

POST DATE: Tuesday, June 29, 2021

POSTED IN: Food & Wine Pairing

TAGS: 4th of July wine, Sauvignon Blanc, rosé, Moscato

3 Perfect Wines for the 4th of July

Have you made your plans for the 4th of July yet? If you’re staying at home, in lieu of attending a big fireworks show, one of the best ways to have a “safe and sane” (as the old advertising slogan goes) experience is to substitute wine for beer as the adult beverage of choice.

Especially when the weather is hot, beer often gets guzzled, and that can cause problems. Wine, on the other hand, never gets guzzled (although it may occasionally be sipped enthusiastically).

Wine is much better enjoyed when sipped and savored, and that makes it ideal for the 4th of July, which tends to be one of the longer family gatherings each year. Even though the fireworks may not commence until after sundown, the grill may be fired up as early as noon. That means we need to pace ourselves.

(Note: Part of pacing ourselves involves hydrating. For each glass of wine consumed, one should also drink an equal amount of water.)

Selecting a single wine for a 4th of July gathering falls into the same category as trying to pick one wine for Thanksgiving. That category: impossible.

But the task is made a bit less daunting by concentrating on wines that can be chilled down — yes, almost like we handle beer.

Because the flavors of wine are muted, to some degree, by chilling, it’s best to choose varieties or styles with assertive flavors. Three we really enjoy on the 4th of July are:

* Sauvignon Blanc — If you’re grilling chicken or fish, and especially if you season it well, this wine is a perfect partner because of its herbal characteristic.

* Rosé — The most versatile of all 4th of July wines because it pairs equally well with white meat and dark meat dishes. Chicken, fish, steaks, burgers, hot dogs — you name it. The fruitful flavor of a rosé-style wine will complement the flavors of the food.

* Moscato — Especially if you’re going to have a large gathering, you need this lightly sweet wine on hand. It pairs nicely with fruit-based desserts, yet also makes an excellent sipping wine.

Caveat: Those who guzzle beer may be inclined to enthusiastically sip Moscato, so keep an eye on things so everyone gets home safely after fireworks.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

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