How Pinot Wines Can Be Paired with Your Food Menu

How to build and pair your wine selection with a food menu. The featured wines, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, are from Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant.

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, our master mixologist, Oscar Castaneda, explores flavor profiles with co-host, Adrianne Calvo—Author, Celebrity Chef, and Owner of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami, Fla. The experts discuss strategy and explore conversations a beverage director and a chef might have when deciding which wine pairs best with a food menu. The featured wines in this episode are Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Cooper Hawk’s Winery and Restaurant.

Pairing a dish with your wine really depends on the flavor profile of the ingredients in a dish and not always just the protein at the center of the plate. In the spread that Chef Calvo prepared for Castaneda, flavor profiles are broken down and paired with each wine.

For example, the white wine, Pinot Gris, pairs well with a light first course such as a summer salad. In this example, Castaneda tries a fresh crisp pear with the wine.

“Why pair a pear with this wine instead of something else like an apple?” asks Castaneda.

“An apple has higher acidity than the pear which will overpower the flavor. A pear is lightly sweet, has a little bit of a crunch, delicate fruit flavor,” says Chef Calvo.

The acidity of the wine overpowers the pear flavor but still retains it in its backbone.

Another alternative with fruit is a freeze-dried version. In this state, the flavor is concentrated and pairs well with the Pinot Gris. It’s an excellent wine that can go with many different dessert varieties as it can bring down the sweetness.


Pinot Gris

Paired with:

  • Pear

  • Crunchies Freeze Dried Fruit

  • DiGiorno Crispy Pan Pepperoni Pizza


Pinot Noir

Paired with:

  • Crudité platter (baby carrots, baby onions, and baby radishes with Publix Sour Cream Dip, French Onion)

  • Vigo Mushrooms, Marinated, in Vinegar Marinade

  • Lindt Milk Chocolate Bar

In this two-episode series, Chef Calvo’s approach to the pairing was definitely out of the box and not something we have seen before.

Want to see how day-old pizza paired with the Pinot Noir?

Watch the full episode above to find out!

Building A Creative Wine Menu

Building A Creative Wine Menu

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

The world of wine is vast. There are over 10,000 different varieties of wine grapes and wine is made in more than 20 countries around the world. In the US alone, there are more than 7000 wineries. So, when you are putting a wine list together, where do you begin?

There are so many different wines to choose from that it is easy for wine buyers, and thereby customers, to default to familiar brands. Is it the job of the Wine Director to create a list that is recognizable to guests or to create a wine list that is esoteric and unique? Perhaps it is a combination of both. And, under the guidance of a passionate and knowledgeable wine team, the world of wine can be introduced to the customer.

There are many wines that have been mass-marketed and are recognizable. Despite wanting to find wines they are familiar with, when customers go out to eat they don’t want to find wines that they saw on sale at the local grocery store. There is nothing worse than seeing a wine for $30 or $40 on a wine list that you might have seen at the grocery store for $11.99, or less. Also, predictable and safe wine lists are boring.

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