Food and wine

Moscato Food Pairings

Moscato wine is characterized by its sweet, fruity and sometimes floral aroma and taste. Many Moscato wines have a bit of effervescence to them, and Moscato d’Asti is a sparkling wine. If you thought that Moscato must be reserved as a dessert wine, think again. Moscato wine is one of the most versatile types of wine available thanks to its sweetness and lower alcohol levels. Below, learn what foods pair well with Moscato wine from your cocktail hour appetizers to your indulgent dessert.

Crudite platter.

Appetizers
One of the easiest possible foods for a cocktail hour is a crudite platter, and Moscato wine pairs perfectly with this crowd favorite. The crispness of raw vegetables plays well with the crisp finish of Moscato and vegetables such as carrots, celery, red and yellow bell peppers and green onion are all vegetables that work especially well with Moscato wine. Cheeses that pair well with Moscato are varied and range from soft cheeses, like Brie to medium-firm cheeses like Pecorino Romano. A simple bruschetta is also a crowd-pleasing appetizer that will complement Moscato wine well.

Butter chicken and naan.

Main Dishes
When it comes to serving your main course, spicy dishes are highly recommended with Moscato. Dishes like curry whether Thai or Indian, spicy spaghetti arrabbiata and hot foods from Szechuan, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine work seamlessly with Moscato wine. If you aren’t a huge fan of intense spices, Moscato also works with light flaky fish, chicken, turkey, shrimp, lobster, crab and duck which leaves your options virtually unlimited when it comes to preparing your main dish. For vegetarians, Moscato not only works with the vegetables listed above, but it also pairs wonderfully with tofu.

Herbs and Spices
Meal planning goes beyond just deciding what meat or vegetables to serve, you have to take into account what herbs, spices or other foods you want to incorporate into your dish. Spices that pair nicely with Moscato include cinnamon, ginger, basil, cardamom, lime, cloves, chili peppers, cayenne pepper, fennel, cilantro, orange and mint.

Biscotti.

Desserts
A sweet glass of dessert Moscato or Moscato d’Asti can be a great finish to your meal on its own, but if you want to serve something sweet, there are plenty of desserts that pair well with Moscato. Biscotti is a classic choice when it comes to desserts and Moscato, and nut-based desserts such as a caramel cashew torte taste great with Moscato as well. Because Moscato has such a fruity aroma and taste, fruit desserts are also popular with Moscato. Other desserts to enjoy with Moscato include grilled peaches, succulent cherry pie or creamy cheesecake.

Moscato wine takes you through each course of your meal effortlessly with its versatile flavor profile. When it comes to pairing wine and food the most important rule is to pair wines and foods that you enjoy and that taste good to you, but if you want a bit of help, the above foods are all impeccable choices for Moscato pairings.

Chicken with parma ham and risotto.

Resveralife Eat Well: Get Healthy With These Food Pairings

Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, wine and food – there are some foods that just seem to taste better when paired together. Of course, you have foods that you love to put together, but the food pairings can go far beyond providing a complimentary taste or texture. In fact, there are some food pairings that can actually significantly increase the nutritional value of your meal. Says Elaine Magee, D.R., “[f]ood synergy is when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits…by eating foods that have a synergistic effect you can absorb more nutrients, gain control of your appetite and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.” We did a little bit of digging to figure out what food pairings not only provide the largest amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but also what food pairings genuinely taste great together. After all, you don’t get the nutritional benefits if you don’t actually eat the food. Resveralife’s favorite healthy food pairings are below.

Onions and grapes.

Onions and Grapes
We admit it, this healthy food pairing sounds pretty disgusting, but stay with us. Onions contain a particularly significant amount of quercetin, a plant-derived antioxidant. Quercetin provides cardiovascular protection by improving circulation. It has also been shown to help relieve or reduce symptoms of allergies. Grapes, a wealth of antioxidants, contain a polyphenol antioxidant called catechin. Catechin is a powerful antioxidant: it helps prevent against cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. An added bonus is that catechin may also help you lose weight. So, on their own these foods offer pretty impressive benefits. When combined they do all of the above in addition to preventing blood clots and providing a boost to your overall health. One of the tastiest ways to combine these two seemingly incompatible ingredients is to make a fresh chicken salad with sliced grapes and diced onions.

Blueberries and oatmeal.

Blueberries and Oatmeal
Grab a spoon and whip up this easy, and incredibly healthful, breakfast. For such a tiny fruit, blueberries pack a serious nutritional punch. Blueberries have a high concentration of ellagic acid, which is thought to fight certain cancers, and include vitamins C and K. Additionally, blueberries are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K. Oatmeal is a whole grain and has high levels of avenanthramides – compounds that fight free radicals from damaging your LDL (good cholesterol) through oxidation. As whole grains they also help fight disease and inflammation in your body. When you combine blueberries and oatmeal, the vitamin C in blueberries significantly enhances the prevention of LDL oxidation.

Red beans and brown rice.

Red Kidney Beans and Brown Rice
A more appetizing sounding combination, red beans and rice are a great way to give your dinner more nutritional value. Brown rice is a whole grain that is naturally high fiber and magnesium. Red kidney beans have a ton of great nutrients: they contain protein, magnesium, potassium, fiber and vitamin B12. Eating red kidney beans helps to prevent heart disease, reduces blood pressure and stabilizes glucose levels.The reason these two ingredients form a great healthy food pairing is that when combined, red beans and brown rice form a complete protein. A protein is considered a complete protein when it contains certain levels of all nine amino acids. Red kidney beans and brown rice provide you with everything your body needs to function healthily.

Food pairings are nothing new, you’ve been making these decisions for years. However, being a bit more strategic about what foods are served together can not only create new flavors, but also increase your health. Spend some time figuring out the best way to combine healthy foods that you love. For instance, you don’t have to simply top your oatmeal with blueberries, consider making healthy oatmeal bars with fresh blueberries for an on-the-go breakfast. A healthier diet is definitely within your reach as you start creating healthy food pairings.

Cheese and red wine.

Resveralife Eat Well: Zinfandel Food Pairing Guide

Zinfandel wines are often juicy, delicious, a bit hardy and have a good acidity to them. However, these wines also feature a very distinctive set of descriptors that can make it difficult to know how to pair foods with Zinfandel. Resveralife did some digging and we have come up with several pairings that can help bring out the best in your favorite Zinfandel.

Wine bottle and glass on a wooden table.

Zinfandel Information
The Zinfandel grape came to America by way of Austria sometime around 1820. Zinfandel grapes are considered the most “American” grape, partly because these grapes are the only grapes used by American vineyards that do not originate in France.

Zinfandel wines are considered a cult classic and have very unique flavor profiles. Many Zinfandel wines include the flavors of blackberries, sweet cherries, figs and spice. The wines produced from the Zinfandel grape range from robust and elegant to bright and lively. With such domineering flavors, Zinfandel wines provide a problem when it comes to pairing with food.

Food Pairings
Ultimately the food selections you make for pairing with Zinfandel will depend upon the specific Zinfandel you have chosen, but there are several general guidelines that help determine what foods to pair your Zinfandel with.

Meat and red wine.

Meats
Zinfandels pair extremely well with meat. Because Zinfandel has such a strong taste, you can pair this wine with hearty meals. Barbecue ribs are an excellent meat to accompany a Zinfandel. Grill some Italian sausages and enjoy with peppers and onions. If you are looking for a heavy meal, try pairing a Zinfandel with a lamb stew. You could also prepare your favorite burger with high-quality beef as the star next to Zinfandel.

Assortment of wine and cheeses

Cheeses
The type of cheeses that you can pair with Zinfandels vary from mild cheeses such as mozzarella to a sharper cheese such as smoked Swiss cheese. Parmesan pairs well with a variety of Zinfandels as do aged cheddar, aged gouda or asiago cheese. Lighter Zinfandels pair well with milder cheeses such as brie, mild cheddar and gouda cheeses. For Zinfandels that have a bigger, bold flavor, look for cheeses that are robust like cheddar or aged gruyere. Some Zinfandels feature a heavy flavor of spice. These pair best with cheeses like havarti and gorgonzola.

Pasta and red wine.

Pastas
Light Zinfandels pair extremely well with pasta dishes that feature creamy sauces while bolder Zinfandels work best with dishes that are tomato based. If you are drinking a big tasting Zinfandel, try hearty pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti bolognese. A lighter Zinfandel works well with  a creamy macaroni and cheese featuring a mild cheddar cheese.

Though Zinfandel wines are not the most popular, in part due to the fact that they make for difficult pairings, they do have a very loyal following. It may take a bit of experimenting until you figure out which Zinfandels pair with certain dishes, but creativity and enjoying new tastes is all a part of the process. Grab a bottle of your favorite Zinfandel and head to your kitchen to try pairing your wine with a great meal.

Sauvignon Blanc grapes being grown in a vineyard.

Resveralife Eat Well: Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairings

Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white,” and the grape is one of the most widely planted because of the variety and wide range of tastes and styles. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc is largely due to the master winemakers in the Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, both in France. The grape has origins that trace back to the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is mainly a dry wine, though there are some regions, such as California, that produce Sauvignon Blanc that leave just a gram or two of residual sugar for a texture that is richer. The most commonly associated fruit notes in Sauvignon Blanc are peach, passion fruit, lime and green apple but what really distinguishes this wine from other whites, such as Chardonnay, is the presence of greener flavors. Some Sauvignon Blancs feature notes of jalapeno, bell pepper and grass. It is these notes that put Sauvignon Blanc in a category of it’s own.

Sauvignon Blanc 
Because Sauvignon Blanc has interesting herbaceous tastes, this wine is excellent to pair with “green” food items as well.

Artichokes.

Citrus Sauvignon Blanc
For a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, asparagus and artichokes are an excellent choice. These vegetables can be hard to pair with other wines as they can leave a metallic finish, but they pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc featuring notes of citrus. Grill or roast with herbs like rosemary for a perfect, light accompaniment to your Sauvignon Blanc. Vegetables are certainly not your only option for a Sauvignon Blanc with citrus notes. Prepare some authentic fish and chips or grill some chicken with rosemary, thyme, basil and white pepper. If you prefer something with a bit more heat, consider pairing citrus Sauvignon Blancs with Mexican food. Avocados and tomatoes work perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, you can go Greek and pair your Sauvignon Blanc with olives and feta cheese.

Fresh salad with green vegetables.

Herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc
One of the greatest features that Sauvignong Blanc has is it’s unique, earthy tones like grass or bell pepper. Enhance this taste by serving your Sauvignon Blanc with green foods. Salads are an excellent choice and provide virtually limitless combinations to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. Meats that pair well with Sauvignon Blanc include chicken, lobster and crab among many others. A simple grilled chicken with spinach salad and an herb vinaigrette makes for a wonderful meal. Another way to pair Sauvignon Blancs with green notes is to prepare a light meal of fish such as Halibut or Tilapia. If you don’t feel like cooking, call your favorite Japanese restaurant and order an assortment of sushi. For those who are a bit more adventurous, make your own sushi at home.

Sauvignon Blanc is a unique, complex white wine that features notes perfect for preparing summer foods. Prepare a great spinach salad for a daytime affair or have an ethnic feast with foods from Japanese, Greek and Mexican cultures. If you simply want to serve your Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of cheese, look for softer cheeses like goat’s milk cheese or creme fraiche.

Resveralife Eat Well: Pinot Noir Pairings

Pinot noir is produced from a red wine grape from the species Vitis vinifera or Pinot noir may be made from predominantly Pinot noir grapes. Pinot noir grapes are grown worldwide, mostly in climates that are cool. The most frequently associated region with Pinot noir grapes is the Burgundy region of France though other regions of note include the Willamette region of Oregon, the Russian River American Viticultural Areas of California and Tasmani and Yarra Valley in Australia. Pinot noir consumption continues to rise in popularity as it is a lighter wine with a lower alcohol content that many wines.

Another reason for the popularity of Pinot noir is the versatility of the wine. Pinot noir is one of the most versatile wines when it comes to food pairings. There are foods that combine with any Pinot noir, while other foods depend upon the particular type of Pinot noir and the preparation of the food. The world of food and wine pairings is no longer limited to red wine with meats and white wine with fish. Modern food and wine pairings are far more creative and a bit more complex. The Resveralife Eat Well Guide features some of the absolute best food pairings for the Pinot noir wine.

Mushrooms and baked potatoes.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms invariably pair well with Pinot noir because they have an earthy, meaty taste. Mushrooms, like the portobello mushroom, often have a meaty taste and texture, which works perfectly with a robust and meaty wine. If you feel ambitious, you can pair your Pinot noir with portobello topped steak, bringing out the richness of both. If you are looking for fare that is a bit lighter, consider a twist on an Italian classic:  mushroom bruschetta. All that is required to make this classic food is a crusty, Italian bread, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and herbs to suit your taste, such as thyme. For an even more low-key evening, pair your Pinot noir with a hearty mushroom pizza.

Freshly cooked peking duck dish with chopsticks.

Duck
Duck pairs perfectly with Pinot noir for two main reasons. The first reason is that duck has a strong flavor on its own and the second is that duck has a higher fat content than chicken. Even though Pinot noir has light tannins, compliment the fattiness of duck. One pairing that wine enthusiasts rave about is Pinot nNoir with Peking duck. A simpler to prepare pairing is roast duck with Pinot noir.

Salmon with a garnish of wild rice and basmati braised in celery, carrots and onions.

Fish
One of the most popular fish pairings with Pinot Noir is salmon. Though duck pairs well with Pinot noir for the fat content, Pinot is versatile and it also pairs equally well lighter choices such as salmon. Salmon pairs well with Pinot noir because it is a fish with a high oil content and a strong flavor. Salmon would overwhelm a white wine, but it pairs perfectly with the more rich Pinot noir. Preparing an oven roasted salmon with a butter sauce is an easy way to impress your taste buds. Other fishes can be paired with Pinot noir, providing they are a strong flavored fish. Some other fishes that can be paired with Pinot noir include anchovies, herring and mackerel.

Yellow curry with pumpkin and pork.

Pork
Pork, particularly roasted or grilled, pair well with Pinot noir. Pork and Pinot noir both share a sweet type of succulence and smoky undertones. Additionally, the fruitier notes of the Pinot noir bring out the sweet, the tangy and the savory flavors of pork. Pork and Pinot noir is such a popular pairing that there is an annual festival in Sonoma County, Pigs & Pinot, devoted entirely to the pairing of this food and drink.

Pinot noir is one of the best food wines because it pairs well with such a diverse array of foods. Resveralife recommends you to have fun trying different recipes and experimenting with food pairings for your Pinot noir.