Half the fun of these warm summer nights are the drinks that accompany the meals. Being savvy when it comes to pairing food and drink can help make even a quick meal feel balanced and sophisticated, and it’s a great way to get conversation going too. All of our recipe cards include suggestions for drink pairings, but we thought we’d take a minute to explain ourselves a bit more.
When it comes to beef, choose a red wine that matches the intensity of the dish. Leaner cuts we love at this time of year, like this Hangar Steak with Hearts of Palm, go well with a light or medium-bodied Pinot Noir, which should have a bit of acidity for balance.
For other great lightweight proteins this summer, like the Hoisin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, serve a wine with a bit of natural sweetness to play off the tangy sauce – we suggest a German Riesling, which also happens to pair well with the Pan-Seared Scallops and the BBQ Sushi Tuna Satays, since they’re served with a sweet and citrusy dressing.
Of course, you don’t have to eat meat to enjoy a wine pairing – the hearty Roasted Kale and Beet Salad is a natural partner for a rich, fruity French Viognier that dovetails beautifully with the sweet, earthy veggies. And while we’re talking salad days, pair the zingy Chicken and Spinach Salad with a light, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from California or Australia.
But remember: At the end of the day, wine pairings are entirely up to you. The best advice is to drink what you like – after all, isn’t that what summer is all about?
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