You’ve visited several Napa Valley wineries and have collected more than a few bottles of wine. A smile brightens your face as you lift each bottle and remember each winery, each taste, and each delicious reason why you knew there was no way you were going to walk out of the tasting room without that precious bottle (or bottles!) in your hand. Suddenly the euphoria is interrupted by the question, “What can I make to go with this?” Napa Wine Tours has collected a few simple, tasty ideas to answer that question including some from renowned chefs.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The obvious pairing is a juicy steak. But for some of us, cooking steak can be tricky. A safer bet would be a recipe we found on Epicurious.com for Napa Valley Cabernet Burgers. Highlights: You’ll coat your burgers while they grill with a Cabernet Sauvignon, shallot, butter, and brown sugar mixture. Then, the finished burger is set upon sliced focaccia that has been covered with rosemary butter.
Napa Valley Chardonnay
While lobster and Chardonnay rank as one of the most enjoyable food and wine pairings, I am easily intimidated by the thought of unintentionally making eye contact before lowering the lobster into the pot. This recipe for Shrimp Scampi with Linguine from Chef Tyler Florence is a fantastic option.
Napa Valley Malbec
Another recipe for the grill, Grilled Lamb Chops with Vegetable Kebabs Served with Couscous. This easy to make and follow recipe from Martha Stewart will have an impressive dinner served in just a little over an hour from preparation to finish.
Napa Valley Merlot
This heavy wine deserves a hearty meal like spaghetti with bolognese sauce. This recipe, “Wolfgang’s Hearty Beef Bolognese Sauce,” comes from Chef Wolfgang Puck. Highlight: This is the only recipe for bolognese sauce we found that features lean ground beef for a healthier sauce.
Napa Valley Pinot Noir
Although Pinot Noir and Filet Mignon qualify as an exquisite pairing, some of us prefer to leave the task of preparing a perfectly cooked Filet Mignon to the professionals. Pinot Noir will also pair deliciously with this recipe from Chef Emeril Lagasse for Chicken Marsala.
Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
This recipe from Chef John Ash for Zucchini Soup with Cinnamon, Cumin, and Buttermilk is served cold or room temperature. Perfect for warm weather, this soup is different and delicious. Found on his blog, Chef Ash’s first choice for a wine pairing with this recipe is Sauvignon Blanc.
Napa Valley Sparkling Wine
Oysters is one the most popular foods to pair with sparkling wine but knowing where to buy fresh oysters, how to clean them, and open them are daunting tasks to most at-home cooks. You could choose the easy route and pair your Napa Valley Sparkling Wine with a popcorn or camembert cheese appetizer, or you could take the advice from Chef Gerardo Vazquez Lugo and pair your sparkling wine with a Mexican dish prepared with a black Mole Sauce (instead of a red Mole Sauce). Black Mole Sauce has many ingredients and takes several hours to cook but the reward is an outstanding homemade sauce to generously pour over chicken enchiladas, shredded chicken, or a chicken burrito to create a “wet” burrito. After reading over several recipes, we chose this easy to follow Oaxacan black mole sauce recipe.
Napa Valley Syrah
You could use a ready-made pizza crust and store bought pasta sauce to spread on the crust before piling on your delicious toppings, or, you could use this Pizza Dough Recipe and Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe from Chef Mario Battali. After your crust is coated with sauce, we suggest placing bite-sized pieces of grilled steak and sausages onto the pizza crust. Next, pile on about a cup each of shredded parmesan and mozzarella. Add pepperoni and cook in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese melts (about 10 minutes).
Napa Valley Zinfandel
Jamie Oliver’s easy recipe for Spicy Pork Ribs will pair nicely with your Napa Valley Zinfandel and leave you wondering why you don’t make this delicious dish more often. The perfect pairing every time you open a bottle from that case you bought.