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Get Inspired: Wine Country Inspired Recipes

Wine has been in existence since Biblical times and has had a long history of being served as an accompaniment to food. Wine and food pairing was based on seasonal and regional availability and not so much the bold fruit flavors, or hint of chocolate undertones of the wine that would compliment the meal that was being served that evening. Records dating back hundreds of years indicate that our ancestors paired wines, cheeses and foods together that were grown in the same region and have been served together for generations.

With all of the choices we have today, many culinary creators and food enthusiasts have more availability in their choices and have become very creative in their pairing. However, now we find ourselves returning to the basics of how our ancestors lived. No longer just out of availability but out of community, economics and health reasons we seek out ways to eat locally but unlike our ancestors we have more available to us as to what we source in regions around the United States. Locations that have never grown grapes are now part of their states wine grown regions, farmers are not only milk producers but some are cheese makers and grow organic produce and grass fed animals. Gardens are filled with new varieties of vegetables and herbs and fruit trees are planted in backyards giving us a bigger variety of local regionally sourced foods and wines.

Wine and Food Pairing is the art of choosing a wine that will enhance the flavor of a meal but before we grab that bottle of wine we first need to understand some basics when it comes to bringing out the best of both the wine and the food. A couple of things to remember whites usually pair well with light colored meats and reds pair well with dark colored meats. Sweet wines pair well with sweet dishes, match the wine color with the sauce color in your dish and last but not least pair regionally sourced food and wines together and you will never go wrong with your pairings.

Just as wine and food go together so does wine country and romance, so in honor of our Romantic Caramel by the Sea issue we are excited to share with all of you our California Cheese and Wine Pairing and our top choices for regional dishes and wine pairing suggestions inspired by the wine regions of California.