Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

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Up for adventure? Try these odd & wonderful pairings!

Your favorite wines differ in texture, richness, acidity and delicacy just like your favorite foods. Pairing them in conventional ways is interesting and successful, yet sometimes it’s fun to bust loose and break a few rules.

So if you’re ready to explore, try some of this month’s offbeat matchups. Then go with your instincts and create some of your own. And, hey, relax. It’s okay to make mistakes. You can always drink the wine with another dish at another time. It’s a good idea to experiment with family and friends (not when the boss is coming to dinner).

Wine always enhances your dining experience – both the food and the people you’re with. So when you find a great wine match – just like a great people match  – you’ll find your pleasure will double.

There are endless offbeat pairings to discover. Here are just a few:


Chardonnay
Fleur Bleu 2017 Riverina, Australia Chardonnay
Popcorn
Corn on the Cob
Bacon

Riesling
Monarch 2017 California Riesling
Guacamole

Tacos and Mexican Dishes  
Indian Dishes

Brut Sparkling
le Cadeau California Brut Sparkling Wine
Fried Chicken
Chili

Shortbread Cookies

Pinot Noir
Halcyon 2016 California Pinot Noir
Grilled Vegetables
Fish and Seafood
Chocolate Ice Cream

Semi-Seco Sparkling
le Cadeau California Semi-Seco Sparkling Wine
Green Salad with Oranges or Red Fruit
Curry
Crème Brûlée

Sauvignon Blanc
McKenna 2016 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Lime Bars or Key Lime Pie
Oysters
Fried Green Tomatoes

Zinfandel
Nouveau Muse 2016 California Zinfandel
Red Velvet Mousse

Baby Back Ribs
Hearty Chicken Dishes

Merlot
Lumière de Vie California Merlot
Potato Chips
Roast Turkey
Cheesecake

Cabernet Sauvignon
Adorn 2016 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Stuffed Mushrooms
Bruschetta

Rosé Sparkling
le Cadeau California Rosé Sparkling Wine
Sushi
Smoked Salmon
Chocolate and Raspberries

 

Recipes to Try

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

Popcorn with a punch tastes even punchier with our golden, velvety Chardonnay.

Chili Lime Popcorn
Servings: 2 (2-cup) servings

PAIRS WITH: Fleur Bleu 2017 Riverina, Australia Chardonnay

INGREDIENTS: 

4 cups air-popped popcorn
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Chipotle Chili Pepper
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Ginger, Ground
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/16 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lime Extract
OR a squeeze of real lime juice
McCormick® Sea Salt Grinder

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the chipotle chili pepper, turmeric, garlic powder and ginger; toss well.

2. Drizzle the oil and extract (or fresh lime juice) over the popcorn and toss again to coat. Season to taste with sea salt, if needed.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

Extra-creamy guac moves up a notch when served with honey-crisp Riesling.

Creamy Avocado Dip
Servings: 20 (2-tablespoon) servings

PAIRS WITH: Monarch 2017 California Riesling

INGREDIENTS: 

3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Onion Salt
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place all ingredients in blender and cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Season to taste with additional ground black pepper, if desired.

2. Spoon dip into serving bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

Bright & bubbly Brut Sparkling brings out the wow in every bite of crunchy “fried” chicken.

Baked “Fried” Chicken
Servings: 6

PAIRS WITH: le Cadeau California Brut Sparkling Wine

INGREDIENTS: 

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Sicilian Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Sesame Seed
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Paprika
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cayenne Pepper , or to taste
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Sage, Dalmatian
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Mustard, Ground
2 cups corn flakes, crushed
6 pieces bone-in chicken parts

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat baking pan with oil. Mix flour, sea salt and pepper in shallow dish. Mix buttermilk, mustard, sesame seed, paprika, cayenne pepper, sage and ground mustard in large bowl. Place crushed corn flakes in shallow dish. Set aside. Rinse chicken in cold water; pat dry.

2. Dip each chicken piece in flour mixture, tapping chicken against bowl to remove excess flour. Discard any remaining flour.

3. Dip each chicken piece into buttermilk bath, then roll in corn flakes to coat. Arrange chicken pieces in prepared pan.

4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through and crispy. (Juices should run clear when meat is pierced with a knife).

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

When savory grilled veggies meet our earthy, berry-like Pinot Noir, it’s a flavor explosion.

Seasonal Grilled Vegetables
Servings: 6

PAIRS WITH: Halcyon 2016 California Pinot Noir

INGREDIENTS: 

1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons McCormick® Grill Mates® Montreal Chicken Seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

1. Toss vegetables with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with Seasoning; toss to coat well.

2. Place vegetables in grill basket, grill rack or thread onto skewers.

3.Grill over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, turning occasionally.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

The clean flavors of this summer-to-fall salad really sing when paired with our Semi-Seco Sparkling.

Mixed Green Salad with Oranges, Spiced Pecans & Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Servings: 6

PAIRS WITH: le Cadeau California Semi-Seco Sparkling Wine

INGREDIENTS: 

SPICED PECANS
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground

POMEGRANATE VINAIGRETTE
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
1 teaspoon McCormick® Ginger, Ground
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Sea Salt Grinder

SALAD
6 cups mixed salad greens, such as spinach, arugula and radicchio
3 seedless oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onions

DIRECTIONS:

1. For the pecans, melt butter in medium skillet on medium heat. Add pecans; cook and stir 5 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon; stir until pecans are evenly coated. Set aside to cool.

2. For the pomegranate vinaigrette, mix oil, pomegranate juice, sugar and seasonings in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended.

3. Divide salad greens evenly among 6 serving plates. Top each salad with oranges, onions and Spiced Pecans. Drizzle with pomegranate vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

Sauvignon Blanc’s bright citrus notes enhance these divine, tart & creamy bars.

Creamy Lime Bars
Servings: 16 (1 bar) servings

PAIRS WITH: McKenna 2016 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc

INGREDIENTS: 

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 eggs
2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Lime Extract
OR 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice or Key Lime juice
Confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch foil-lined square baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Stir granulated sugar and flour with wire whisk in large bowl until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour over crust.

3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

4. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into bars. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store leftover bars in refrigerator.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Wine Pairings for the Adventurous

Big, bold Zinfandel showcases the smooth chocolatey-ness of red velvet mousse.

Red Velvet Mousse
Servings: 8

PAIRS WITH: Nouveau Muse 2016 California Zinfandel

INGREDIENTS: 

MOUSSE
4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1 tablespoon McCormick® Red Food Color
1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar

VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Microwave chocolate in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Microwave additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring until chocolate is smooth and melted. Add 1/4 cup cream; stir until smooth. Stir in food color and vanilla. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly.

2. Beat 2 cups cream and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in 1/2 of the chocolate mixture with spatula until well blended. Gently stir in remaining chocolate mixture. Spoon into dessert dishes. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. For the Vanilla Whipped Cream, beat 1/2 cup cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve on mousse.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

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