Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

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Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#1 Post by Mike R » October 19th, 2020, 11:26 am

I am looking for some help with a wine pairing for an upcoming dinner where the main dish (lemon chicken) calls for white, but the people attending don't like white wine. I was thinking potentially a light red Burgundy, but really am not sure what will pair well. Any suggestions?
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#2 Post by IlkkaL » October 19th, 2020, 11:38 am

Maybe a Beaujolais like Fleurie or Brouilly? Another option could be a bright, crunchy Sangiovese like Pian del Ciampolo.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#3 Post by Chris Seiber » October 19th, 2020, 11:53 am

How much are you trying to make the pairing a really great pairing, versus how much do you just want to serve a wine that your company likes?

If it's the latter, probably just about anything would go well enough. And it's definitely not wrong to choose "serve wine your company actually likes" over "find some geeky thing that's a more perfect match for the food."

If it's the former, I'd probably think of high acid, lower oak reds. Among more mainstream categories that your company might still like on its own terms, maybe a crisper, redder style new world pinot, like something in the Kutch, Navarro, Copain type of style. Or maybe something like Brunello, which has good fruit to appeal to civilians but enough acid to work okay with that food.

I'm making an assumption that your company has "regular wine drinker" tastes rather than a European or wine geek set of likes, but if that's not correct, then disregard my suggestions.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#4 Post by Chris Seiber » October 19th, 2020, 11:54 am

I guess the other option is to make a different dish than lemon chicken. It sounds like you're locked in on that, but if you aren't, just make any of the thousand things that would go pretty well with the wines they like.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#5 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 19th, 2020, 11:56 am

Other than lemon, what seasonings (e.g. herb components) will be involved? The wine pairing doesn't have to just focus on the lemon. The chicken itself is largely irrelevant. It's just a base material.

Also - dark meat (thighs) or white meat? Dark meat is more flexible.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#6 Post by Jim Stewart » October 19th, 2020, 12:02 pm

Can you meet in the middle with a Rosé? I also like Ilkka's Bojo suggestion. His mention of Sangiovese reminded me of Il Poggione Brancato, which is a rosé made from young Sangiovese.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#7 Post by Mike R » October 19th, 2020, 12:21 pm

Thanks so much for the recommendations so far! To answer the questions:

1) We are brining wine and someone else is cooking, so I wouldn't be able to change the dish (nor would I want to, host is a fantastic cook).
2) I am not sure about herbs or white / dark meat.
3) I think I am pretty much the only one going who is a wine geek. I think everyone else would be happy with just about anything, but I want to bring some nice wines in recognition of thanks for preparing the full meal.
4) Because of my desire to bring a "upscale" wine, I would also pass on rosé.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#8 Post by Jim Stewart » October 19th, 2020, 12:27 pm

Good sentiments Mike, and I understand where you are coming from in wanting to share good wine. Hope it works out for you. Cheers.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#9 Post by larry schaffer » October 19th, 2020, 12:30 pm

I like the idea of a lighter red for sure. Bojo is always a good choice, but you could consider other reds like Cinsault, a lighter Grenache, or even some carbonic stuff.

Good luck.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#10 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 19th, 2020, 12:34 pm

Mike R wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 12:21 pm
4) Because of my desire to bring a "upscale" wine, I would also pass on rosé.
If you can find a bottle of Domaine Tempier Rose that is a quite upscale wine! [cheers.gif]

Hmm...Rose Champagne!!
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#11 Post by PaulS » October 19th, 2020, 1:04 pm

There are definitely some "upscale" rosés, but if you definitely want to go red, probably a Burgundy or new world Pinot Noir with a bit of acidity to it would probably pair well.

On the other hand, I'm a big red wine lover, myself, so I'd drink just about any red, even if it was not the best complement to the food. Maybe not a really big cabernet, but merlot, cab franc, tempranillo, sangiovese . . . I'd be down with any of those.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#12 Post by Otto Forsberg » October 19th, 2020, 1:15 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 12:34 pm
If you can find a bottle of Domaine Tempier Rose that is a quite upscale wine! [cheers.gif]
To me, Tempier Rosé is pretty much a regular rosé (albeit a very well-made one) with an upscale price tag. [stirthepothal.gif]

If one wants to bring a true upscale rosé, I'd go with Viña Tondonia GR Rosé or Valentini Cerasuolo. It might just be quite difficult to source those.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#13 Post by Chris Seiber » October 19th, 2020, 1:24 pm

Mike R wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 12:21 pm
Thanks so much for the recommendations so far! To answer the questions:

1) We are brining wine and someone else is cooking, so I wouldn't be able to change the dish (nor would I want to, host is a fantastic cook).
2) I am not sure about herbs or white / dark meat.
3) I think I am pretty much the only one going who is a wine geek. I think everyone else would be happy with just about anything, but I want to bring some nice wines in recognition of thanks for preparing the full meal.
4) Because of my desire to bring a "upscale" wine, I would also pass on rosé.
I would take the categories and styles of wines that these folks would like the best just on their own irrespective of the food, and out of those, pick one that is the more relatively high in acid and relatively low in oak. That should result in a wine that they actually like and that is passable as a pairing with the food. My #1 guess would be a crisper (but not heavily underfruited AFWE extreme) new world pinot.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#14 Post by Mike R » October 19th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I was originally thinking Burg, but I do have a Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose champagne I can bring that might pair well based on everyones recommendations. Perhaps I'll open that with dinner and bring a nice cab for after dinner.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#15 Post by Drew Goin » October 19th, 2020, 1:47 pm

I would second what Chris Seiber and others have suggested. Tannins, whether from grape skins or oak, will probably clash with lemon.

Lighter-bodied reds ought to work as long as the acidity is balanced with the dish's flavors. Tarragon or capers with classic red wine flavors sound like a potential disaster, IF either is included in the recipe.

I have enjoyed whites with steak, so I am by no means a proponent of regimented pairing rules.
Last edited by Drew Goin on October 19th, 2020, 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#16 Post by Ron Erickson » October 19th, 2020, 1:47 pm

I always enjoyed pairing a simple Cotes du Rhone with chicken.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#17 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 1:52 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:53 am
How much are you trying to make the pairing a really great pairing, versus how much do you just want to serve a wine that your company likes?

If it's the latter, probably just about anything would go well enough. And it's definitely not wrong to choose "serve wine your company actually likes" over "find some geeky thing that's a more perfect match for the food."

If it's the former, I'd probably think of high acid, lower oak reds. Among more mainstream categories that your company might still like on its own terms, maybe a crisper, redder style new world pinot, like something in the Kutch, Navarro, Copain type of style. Or maybe something like Brunello, which has good fruit to appeal to civilians but enough acid to work okay with that food.

I'm making an assumption that your company has "regular wine drinker" tastes rather than a European or wine geek set of likes, but if that's not correct, then disregard my suggestions.
Please explain why Europeans are irregular. [stirthepothal.gif]

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#18 Post by J. Rock » October 19th, 2020, 1:55 pm

What about Champagne (not rose)? I feel like it would pair wonderfully and a lot of non-wine geeks don't often consider Champagne to be "white wine." I've met people that wouldn't be interested in drinking "white wine" but would be excited to have some Dom Perignon for example or even just any Champagne.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#19 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 1:56 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:56 am
Other than lemon, what seasonings (e.g. herb components) will be involved? The wine pairing doesn't have to just focus on the lemon. The chicken itself is largely irrelevant. It's just a base material.

Also - dark meat (thighs) or white meat? Dark meat is more flexible.
Plus the method of preparation. Are whole lemons roasted with the chicken or is there a sauce involving lemon juice. The latter is a tougher proposition than the former.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#20 Post by Gabe Berk » October 19th, 2020, 1:56 pm

Bubbles to start and a Mourvedre, Grenache or Carignane with the meal. Medium body, acid and tannin.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#21 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 1:57 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 1:24 pm
Mike R wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 12:21 pm
Thanks so much for the recommendations so far! To answer the questions:

1) We are brining wine and someone else is cooking, so I wouldn't be able to change the dish (nor would I want to, host is a fantastic cook).
2) I am not sure about herbs or white / dark meat.
3) I think I am pretty much the only one going who is a wine geek. I think everyone else would be happy with just about anything, but I want to bring some nice wines in recognition of thanks for preparing the full meal.
4) Because of my desire to bring a "upscale" wine, I would also pass on rosé.
I would take the categories and styles of wines that these folks would like the best just on their own irrespective of the food, and out of those, pick one that is the more relatively high in acid and relatively low in oak. That should result in a wine that they actually like and that is passable as a pairing with the food. My #1 guess would be a crisper (but not heavily underfruited AFWE extreme) new world pinot.
Don’t follow #4.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#22 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 2:08 pm

J. Rock wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 1:55 pm
What about Champagne (not rose)? I feel like it would pair wonderfully and a lot of non-wine geeks don't often consider Champagne to be "white wine." I've met people that wouldn't be interested in drinking "white wine" but would be excited to have some Dom Perignon for example or even just any Champagne.
+1

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#23 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » October 19th, 2020, 2:47 pm

Obv answer is champs

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#24 Post by Howard Cooper » October 19th, 2020, 2:48 pm

Ridge Zin. Doesn’t go with the food, but it is always a crowd pleaser. People who don’t like whites probably won’t like roses or lighter reds, no matter how good they are.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#25 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 3:48 pm

Silly question, have the blancophobes ever tried good whites, properly served? Sometimes they don’t give white a proper chance. We have some friends who were predominantly red drinkers, who are learning to like whites. They had tended to think of whites as aperitifs rather than potentially food wines.
This event may not be the occasion for an intervention, though.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#26 Post by Howard Cooper » October 19th, 2020, 4:09 pm

RichardFlack wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 3:48 pm
Silly question, have the blancophobes ever tried good whites, properly served? Sometimes they don’t give white a proper chance. We have some friends who were predominantly red drinkers, who are learning to like whites. They had tended to think of whites as aperitifs rather than potentially food wines.
This event may not be the occasion for an intervention, though.
You are probably correct on two fronts. One, they have probably not given whites a proper chance. Two, this event probably is not the occasion for an intervention.

White wine still has a bad reputation for a lot of wine drinkers due to the ubiquitousness of people having a "glass of Chardonnay" in the 80s. For so many people, it is not really an issue of what they like, but rather an issue of what they think they are supposed to like. I get all the time from friends who like wine but know nothing about it statements like "I only drink reds", "this wine is too sweet" (all Riesling is too sweet, even GGs), "I like a wine that gives me a mouthful of wine", etc., etc. There are times and places to try to fight this attitude. From the OP's description, this does not seem like one of those times.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#27 Post by Chris Seiber » October 19th, 2020, 4:31 pm

I agree completely with Richard and Howard — they may well like whites if they had the right ones, but this may not be the time to try to demonstrate that to them.

Or maybe you bring reds but one good white, and see if they might try a half glass of the white before going to the red, and if they don’t get into it, or decline to try it, you of course just graciously let it go.

The most common manifestation is you have company who declare that they don’t drink chardonnay and only drink sauv blanc, pinot grigio, etc. Then you pour them a white Burg, a Kutch, Copain, Arcadian, etc and they immediately say “wait a second, this is chardonnay? I actually really like this.”

It wasn’t chardonnay they disliked, it was the mass produced oaky buttery chardonnay they didn’t like, they just didn’t realize there were different and better ones out there.

I’ve seen that so many times.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#28 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » October 19th, 2020, 4:36 pm

IlkkaL wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:38 am
Maybe a Beaujolais like Fleurie or Brouilly? Another option could be a bright, crunchy Sangiovese like Pian del Ciampolo.
I like the idea of a light bright Sangiovese here. Acid goes well with acid in the food friendly spectrum.

+1 for a rose as well and a cheers to Otto for throwing Cerasuolo on the table.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#29 Post by Mattstolz » October 19th, 2020, 5:46 pm

im a big fan of Arnot Roberts Trousseau here. I also really like Stolpman Love You Bunches too, or Enfield Foot Tread Rose, but id go Trousseau. Its a delicious wine does really well where whites also do well.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#30 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 5:50 pm

I do find it interesting that people will totally dismiss ‘basic’ whites, but will happily drink a basic red. It’s as if the bar is higher for whites (but then they are surprised when it is surmounted).

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#31 Post by alan weinberg » October 19th, 2020, 5:51 pm

Mike R wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 12:21 pm
We are brining wine
then it probably doesn’t matter what you bring!

Maybe bring a great white also and change some minds!

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#32 Post by RichardFlack » October 19th, 2020, 5:56 pm

Blanc de Noirs? Tell them you’re bringing Pinot Noir.....

Seriously, “lemon chicken” is such a moveable feast it’s hard to get specific.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#33 Post by Mike R » October 19th, 2020, 6:12 pm

To everyone suggesting to try to change their mind on the white - believe me, I have on more than one occasion. I am a big Chard fan and have brought several really nice Burgs at various times, none of which were met with much interest.

Not speaking to the folks I am having this meal with, but I do agree that white gets a really bad reputation amongst people who are "casual" wine drinkers.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#34 Post by Chris Seiber » October 19th, 2020, 8:21 pm

Mike R wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 6:12 pm
To everyone suggesting to try to change their mind on the white - believe me, I have on more than one occasion. I am a big Chard fan and have brought several really nice Burgs at various times, none of which were met with much interest.
If you were bringing red wines these folks would like and had no idea and/or no concern about what the food was, what would you bring? What are the reds they tend to like the most?

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#35 Post by Mike R » October 19th, 2020, 8:33 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 8:21 pm
Mike R wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 6:12 pm
To everyone suggesting to try to change their mind on the white - believe me, I have on more than one occasion. I am a big Chard fan and have brought several really nice Burgs at various times, none of which were met with much interest.
If you were bringing red wines these folks would like and had no idea and/or no concern about what the food was, what would you bring? What are the reds they tend to like the most?
Caymus and other similar types of cabs are always a big hit, but I'm not a fan of these types of wines. They are also fans of Pinot Noir in general, which I also like (hence my initial Burg idea).
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#36 Post by IlkkaL » October 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm

I have to say I am a bit surprised how little faith some here have in "normal people's" ability to appreciate authentic European wines when served with matching food. I mean American people do travel to Europe, right? Do these people then struggle mightily in say Paris/Rome when served a wine from nearby regions and feel the urge to inquire for something American? In Finland the average Joe enjoys either something from Chile or a sugar'd up Italian Appassimento when given a choice but at least in my experience something like a nice, versatile Chianti Classico has been widely succesful when I have served it with meats of various kinds.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#37 Post by M Matthews » October 20th, 2020, 12:54 am

I like Zweigelt from Austria.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#38 Post by Jason T » October 20th, 2020, 1:46 am

Lots of great suggestions here on the reds.
IlkkaL wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm
I have to say I am a bit surprised how little faith some here have in "normal people's" ability to appreciate authentic European wines when served with matching food. I mean American people do travel to Europe, right? Do these people then struggle mightily in say Paris/Rome when served a wine from nearby regions and feel the urge to inquire for something American? In Finland the average Joe enjoys either something from Chile or a sugar'd up Italian Appassimento when given a choice but at least in my experience something like a nice, versatile Chianti Classico has been widely succesful when I have served it with meats of various kinds.
It really depends on the crowd. All of my friends and family know me as “the wine guy”. Regardless of their normal preferences I’ve found them quite open to my suggestions when pairing food and wine. That’s within reason - I’m typically not just going to throw an ‘89 Chinon or a skin contact wine at folks - though I have on occasion with some context/a story and the offer of something more their usual style already opened and waiting in the wings.

Regardless of how geeky I get I’ve found that if I provide on explanation on why that wine and not some other wine, and again with the offer of something more to their liking already open (so they don’t feel like they’re being held hostage), I’ve found it’s almost always well received. In fact usually I can get people thinking about food and wine in ways they never have - thinking about how the wine’s texture, structure or other characteristics make it more “food friendly”.

But, there are definitely outliers. Some people will just militantly want what they want regardless of the dish. It is what it is and I’m always happy to have something open for them as well. No reason everyone has to drink the same thing.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#39 Post by Wes Barton » October 20th, 2020, 2:12 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 4:09 pm
RichardFlack wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 3:48 pm
Silly question, have the blancophobes ever tried good whites, properly served? Sometimes they don’t give white a proper chance. We have some friends who were predominantly red drinkers, who are learning to like whites. They had tended to think of whites as aperitifs rather than potentially food wines.
This event may not be the occasion for an intervention, though.
You are probably correct on two fronts. One, they have probably not given whites a proper chance. Two, this event probably is not the occasion for an intervention.

White wine still has a bad reputation for a lot of wine drinkers due to the ubiquitousness of people having a "glass of Chardonnay" in the 80s. For so many people, it is not really an issue of what they like, but rather an issue of what they think they are supposed to like. I get all the time from friends who like wine but know nothing about it statements like "I only drink reds", "this wine is too sweet" (all Riesling is too sweet, even GGs), "I like a wine that gives me a mouthful of wine", etc., etc. There are times and places to try to fight this attitude. From the OP's description, this does not seem like one of those times.
That's what I was thinking. So many people have only had bad whites, all negative reinforcement of an idea. If you have a white that you think will be revelatory and go well with the food, why not bring it.....in addition to the reds. I've encountered this so many times with a couple of the wineries I've poured for. If there's a white I think will turn them on, I'll nudge them. I have no interest in getting someone to taste a wine they won't like. There's no hard sell - just reading them. They already said they don't like white wine, so "no biggie, if you don't like it just dump it and I'll get you the Pinot." Almost always a mind blown, always good natured.

You could do the same. "I brought a white I think you'll like. If you like, I'll pour you a taste to see if it turns you on or not. No worries if it doesn't work for you. Just dump it and we'll get you a pour of the red."
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#40 Post by IlkkaL » October 20th, 2020, 2:28 am

Jason T wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 1:46 am
Lots of great suggestions here on the reds.
IlkkaL wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm
I have to say I am a bit surprised how little faith some here have in "normal people's" ability to appreciate authentic European wines when served with matching food. I mean American people do travel to Europe, right? Do these people then struggle mightily in say Paris/Rome when served a wine from nearby regions and feel the urge to inquire for something American? In Finland the average Joe enjoys either something from Chile or a sugar'd up Italian Appassimento when given a choice but at least in my experience something like a nice, versatile Chianti Classico has been widely succesful when I have served it with meats of various kinds.
It really depends on the crowd. All of my friends and family know me as “the wine guy”. Regardless of their normal preferences I’ve found them quite open to my suggestions when pairing food and wine. That’s within reason - I’m typically not just going to throw an ‘89 Chinon or a skin contact wine at folks - though I have on occasion with some context/a story and the offer of something more their usual style already opened and waiting in the wings.

Regardless of how geeky I get I’ve found that if I provide on explanation on why that wine and not some other wine, and again with the offer of something more to their liking already open (so they don’t feel like they’re being held hostage), I’ve found it’s almost always well received. In fact usually I can get people thinking about food and wine in ways they never have - thinking about how the wine’s texture, structure or other characteristics make it more “food friendly”.

But, there are definitely outliers. Some people will just militantly want what they want regardless of the dish. It is what it is and I’m always happy to have something open for them as well. No reason everyone has to drink the same thing.
I get what you are saying and for sure there are hard-headed people and people who just simply cannot understand wine-food pairings no matter what. I just feel like there is a huge difference between a Beaujolais/Chianti and wines like those you mention (mature Chinon or skin contact white) and while the latter two easily fit into the category of geeky wines the former in most cases really do not. Have we really reached a point where European classics are too weird/difficult to enjoy for average American people?
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#41 Post by PaulS » October 20th, 2020, 3:50 am

RichardFlack wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 1:52 pm

Please explain why Europeans are irregular. [stirthepothal.gif]
Not enough fiber in their diet, maybe?
A board newbie and not much of a wine snob. Have a few $100+ bottles in my small wine (35-bottle) storage refrigerator, but also enjoy the occasional $10-12 bottle from the grocery store.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#42 Post by Jason T » October 20th, 2020, 3:55 am

IlkkaL wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 2:28 am

I get what you are saying and for sure there are hard-headed people and people who just simply cannot understand wine-food pairings no matter what. I just feel like there is a huge difference between a Beaujolais/Chianti and wines like those you mention (mature Chinon or skin contact white) and while the latter two easily fit into the category of geeky wines the former in most cases really do not. Have we really reached a point where European classics are too weird/difficult to enjoy for average American people?
Oh I agree there's a huge difference - and that ideally most folks would find Beaujolais/Chianti to be perfectly cromulent with food.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#43 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » October 20th, 2020, 5:14 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 1:15 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 12:34 pm
If you can find a bottle of Domaine Tempier Rose that is a quite upscale wine! [cheers.gif]
To me, Tempier Rosé is pretty much a regular rosé (albeit a very well-made one) with an upscale price tag. [stirthepothal.gif]

If one wants to bring a true upscale rosé, I'd go with Viña Tondonia GR Rosé or Valentini Cerasuolo. It might just be quite difficult to source those.
Biondi Santi is also sorta upscale.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#44 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 20th, 2020, 5:37 am

IlkkaL wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm
I have to say I am a bit surprised how little faith some here have in "normal people's" ability to appreciate authentic European wines when served with matching food. I mean American people do travel to Europe, right? Do these people then struggle mightily in say Paris/Rome when served a wine from nearby regions and feel the urge to inquire for something American? In Finland the average Joe enjoys either something from Chile or a sugar'd up Italian Appassimento when given a choice but at least in my experience something like a nice, versatile Chianti Classico has been widely succesful when I have served it with meats of various kinds.
Surprising to me as well but often true. I regularly have dinner parties and weave in traditional European wines with standard California fare to groups that are not wine folks like most on this board. As much as I love Beaujolais, it’s a harder sell to some folks, who used to big oaky cabs, find them thin and light. Nuance lost on them. I see it every thanksgiving and Xmas with my own family.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#45 Post by Jay Miller » October 20th, 2020, 6:02 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 5:37 am
IlkkaL wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm
I have to say I am a bit surprised how little faith some here have in "normal people's" ability to appreciate authentic European wines when served with matching food. I mean American people do travel to Europe, right? Do these people then struggle mightily in say Paris/Rome when served a wine from nearby regions and feel the urge to inquire for something American? In Finland the average Joe enjoys either something from Chile or a sugar'd up Italian Appassimento when given a choice but at least in my experience something like a nice, versatile Chianti Classico has been widely succesful when I have served it with meats of various kinds.
Surprising to me as well but often true. I regularly have dinner parties and weave in traditional European wines with standard California fare to groups that are not wine folks like most on this board. As much as I love Beaujolais, it’s a harder sell to some folks, who used to big oaky cabs, find them thin and light. Nuance lost on them. I see it every thanksgiving and Xmas with my own family.
But then sometimes the reverse happens. I remember bringing a Pepiere Muscadet to a random gathering and one person's eyes lit up and she said, "What is this? I thought I hated white wine!"
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#46 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 20th, 2020, 6:06 am

Oh no doubt, I’ve converted many over the years. That is why I generally like to serve a mix of wines at larger gatherings, so there’s something for everyone, and everyone gets to experiment. The general counsels to one of my largest clients as someone that I have entertained at dinners over the years, mostly with big cultish Cabernet from Napa, and one day we tried a 99 Musar, and he flipped over it, bought all he could.
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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#47 Post by Howard Cooper » October 20th, 2020, 7:19 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 4:31 pm
I agree completely with Richard and Howard — they may well like whites if they had the right ones, but this may not be the time to try to demonstrate that to them.

Or maybe you bring reds but one good white, and see if they might try a half glass of the white before going to the red, and if they don’t get into it, or decline to try it, you of course just graciously let it go.

The most common manifestation is you have company who declare that they don’t drink chardonnay and only drink sauv blanc, pinot grigio, etc. Then you pour them a white Burg, a Kutch, Copain, Arcadian, etc and they immediately say “wait a second, this is chardonnay? I actually really like this.”

It wasn’t chardonnay they disliked, it was the mass produced oaky buttery chardonnay they didn’t like, they just didn’t realize there were different and better ones out there.

I’ve seen that so many times.
I love German Riesling, white Burgundy, Loire Chenin Blanc, etc., but if all I ever had tasted were "mass produced oaky buttery chardonnay" and mass produced Sauvignon Blanc, I would probably go around saying that I don't white wines.
Howard

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#48 Post by RichardFlack » October 20th, 2020, 7:27 am

And mass produced oaky sweet fruit bomb Cabs.... ?

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#49 Post by Chris Seiber » October 20th, 2020, 9:56 am

IlkkaL wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm
I have to say I am a bit surprised how little faith some here have in "normal people's" ability to appreciate authentic European wines when served with matching food. I mean American people do travel to Europe, right? Do these people then struggle mightily in say Paris/Rome when served a wine from nearby regions and feel the urge to inquire for something American? In Finland the average Joe enjoys either something from Chile or a sugar'd up Italian Appassimento when given a choice but at least in my experience something like a nice, versatile Chianti Classico has been widely succesful when I have served it with meats of various kinds.
I think this comment is addressed to, or in reaction to, a post of mine above, so I will try to clarify better what I was saying.

Mike said early in the thread he was looking more to serve this group wines they would like than either (a) to find the most perfect wine geek food-wine pairing or (b) to try to educate them on new horizons. I took some contextual hints that suggested these were folks with more mainstream American tastes in wines, and sure enough, that was confirmed later in the thread (e.g. Caymus would be the wine they would splurge on).

I wrote the following: "I'm making an assumption that your company has "regular wine drinker" tastes rather than a European or wine geek set of likes, but if that's not correct, then disregard my suggestions."

Regular wine drinker, deliberately in quotation marks, was just a shorthand to refer to them having mainstream tastes in wine for American non-geek wine drinkers. If they are the exception, and are people whose favorites are Old World wines or AFWE type wines, then the advice I was giving in that post wouldn't apply, and I was just clarifying that. It wasn't any slight on European wines, nor any kind of statement that regular folks couldn't like old world wines, just that I was trying to connect my suggestions to who this particular audience is and what they like.

I probably have a thousand bottles of Old World wine in my cellar, including many from highly geeky nooks and crannies, and I own zero Caymus, Prisoner, Meiomi or Rombauer, so I'm definitely not some kind of old world wine hater, by any means. But I think many of these threads, wine collector/enthusiast types mistake their love for old world wines and styles and/or obscure wine geek wines with what their neighbors and relatives actually want to drink at a cookout, dinner party, or holiday meal. There might be times for trying to push people into new categories, but it sounds like this is not really one of those times.

One other thing to add -- in threads like this, it's not even really a reluctance to suggest things like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, and Toscana. Many of the suggestions in this and other threads like it are dolcetto, Fleurie, Trousseau, Cinsault, Zweigelt, Chinon, Brachetto, and things that are fun for WBer types to consider as food pairings, but frankly just aren't what most of your relatives and neighbors are going to like.

And again, if this is a "try to open their minds to something new and very different" occasion, then sure, go for it. I certainly do that some times. But if it isn't, then serve them a good wine that is also something they're highly likely to enjoy.

I hope that clarifies what I was trying to say, maybe better than I did the first time around.

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Re: Red Wine Pairing when White is Best

#50 Post by Chris Seiber » October 20th, 2020, 10:02 am

RichardFlack wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 7:27 am
And mass produced oaky sweet fruit bomb Cabs.... ?
My unscientific observation is that, in your average/typical American non-geek wine drinker population, there is much more of a split over sugar and oak bomb whites than there is over their red counterparts. They might be 50-50 on Rombauer chardonnay, but 90-10 in liking The Prisoner.

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