Thursday, February 15, 2007

What to Drink with What You Eat

I don't know about you all, but I have an awfully hard time finding kitchen inspiration this time of year. Grocery store produce seems so lifeless and limp, and this year there isn't even any California citrus --like ruby red grapefruits on sale--to cheer us up.

During times like this I spend a lot of time reading about food and cooking. My latest find is What to Drink With What You Eat, a guide not only to pairing foods with wine, but also with drinks like juices, coffees, teas, beer--even water. For example, did you know that IKEA pear cider makes a great brunch drink? Who knew? This book takes the advice of expert sommeliers and compiles what ends up being an enormous resource organized by the alphabet. It's great fun to flip through, and I highly recommend it. Some pairing examples:

Cashews: Pinot Noir, Prosecco, spiced tea
Goat Cheese: Sauvignon Blanc, esp. California and/or dry, Chimay beer
Cheesecake: ice wine, espresso, Muscat-black or orange
Chili: beer-esp. lager, pilsner or wheat, Zinfandel
Gnocchi: Valpolicella
Hamburgers: Beaujolais (esp. w/ ketchup), milkshake, Cabernet Sauvignon
Macaroni and Cheese: Chardonnay, esp. with little to no oak
Kit Kat: tea

Authors Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page include two quotes in the book's introduction that I just love. I'm including them with the hope that they'll add a little inspiration to your day today:

"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas." ~Linus Pauling

"Life is the sum of all your choices." ~Albert Camus


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