Stop ordering Cabernet with your oysters! We asked a group of sommeliers from around the country about the worst food and wine pairings and why they're so terrible together.
'ask a sommelier' on Serious Eats
In the hot summer months, even if we can't be relaxing by the beach, we find ourselves planning meals that revolve around seafood: briny raw oysters, buttery lobster rolls, wild salmon charred on the grill. But what should we drink?
Sommeliers taste a lot of wine—while putting together restaurant wine lists, while testing bottles for flaws, while traveling to learn about wine regions around the world, and while hanging out with friends. We asked 25 sommeliers about the most memorable wines they've ever tried.
Here's the situation: you're at dinner with three friends, and you all order wildly different entrees. One chooses a pasta with vegetables, some else goes for the fish, another orders steak, and last person gets the chicken. For dinners like this, how do you go about ordering wine to share?
Choosing wine for someone else is tricky, but if your dad's really an oenophile, he'll probably appreciate the effort...and maybe even open the bottle to share with you.
This time of year, it's easy to feel like you should always be grilling. Got fava beans? Asparagus? Throw them on the grill. Chicken? Who roasts anymore? But grilling adds a layer of flavor to food, and the best drink accompaniment will be different than if you prepared these ingredients another way. We asked 14 sommeliers for advice on the best wines to pair with grilled food.
We could just drink pink from here on out: crisp pale coral wines from Provence, fresh California rosés, magenta-hued bottles from Spain...there's a whole rainbow of pink to keep our thirst quenched for the warm months. But which wines should we look for? Which are the most delicious? We asked 15 sommeliers from around the country for their favorite rosé wines, as well as tips for what to eat alongside a glass (or three.)
Which wines work well with a plate of juicy carnitas or a carne asada burrito? We asked 17 sommeliers for their advice.
Sommeliers and wine directors drink Riesling at picnics and Cab Franc at concerts and Champagne at roofdeck parties. But do they ever switch to something else? Are these wine lovers secretly fans of hoppy IPAs or well-aged whiskies? We asked 14 somms what they love to drink when they're not popping wine corks. Here's what they had to say.
A BYOB restaurant is a beautiful thing; it's also fun to get takeout and be able to open wine from your own collection or favorite wine shop. But if Chinese food is on the menu, which bottles should you pop? Depends on if you're eating Mapo tofu or Peking duck, dan dan noodles, dumplings, or delicate seafood preparations. We asked 14 sommeliers for their wine pairing advice. What's the most delicious wine to pair with Chinese food? Here's what they had to say.
In wine, you sometimes get what you pay for. But sometimes, a winegrowing region isn't as well known as it should be, and is undervalued in the market, so you can get an especially good deal on wines that cost less than they should. What wine regions are under the radar enough to keep prices low? What wine regions have lower prices because people can't read the foreign words on the labels?
Sushi and beer are an awesome combination, and many folks like to order sake with sushi (even if it might not be strictly traditional), but you might be surprised how delicious wine and sushi can be together. Whether it's a salty-seeming coastal white wine from Italy, or a palate-cleansing sparkler from France or Spain, wine can make for a truly special sushi meal. Which bottles should you pop? We asked 11 sommeliers for tips.
What's for dinner? Steak? So you'll be opening a bottle of red wine, right? Well...not necessarily. Grilling some fish tonight? Wait a second before you uncork that Sauvignon Blanc. We asked 13 top sommeliers about that old rule suggesting red wine with meat and white with fish.
You have ketchup. Sauteed mushrooms and onions. A whole array of cheese options. Maybe you're even the kind of freak who likes lettuce on your burger (weirdo). But when it's burger night, do you have wine ready? We asked 10 top sommeliers from around the country for their burger-night picks.
How do you make pizza—a near-perfect food—even better? By drinking the right wine with it. If you think of wine as a sauce for your food, you'll want to make sure it's a sauce that works with the dish: complementing the earthy flavors of mushrooms and sausage, or contrasting the richness of the cheese, standing up to the bright acidity of tomato sauce and countering the spice of pepperoni. We gathered pizza-pairing advice from 11 top sommeliers from around the country.
I'm sure you've invited a sommelier to your Super Bowl bash, presented her with your menu ("We'll do the guacamole as an amuse bouche, and then the 7-layer dip as the first course") and asked for pairing advice. Oh, no? Not yet? Well, we've done the asking for you.
It can be intimidating to stare down a restaurant wine list, especially if the prices are mostly out of your range. But you want to drink something tasty—what should you look for in order to get a good deal? Is it smart to order the cheapest bottle on the list? The second-cheapest bottle? Is there something else we should be looking for to find the best wine for the money? We asked 16 top sommeliers for their advice.