After an unseasonably warm streak, the cool weather season has descended on Lodi Wine Country. Daylight hours are a little shorter, nights a bit cooler. Outside, Lodi Alicante Bouschet vineyards are up in crimson flames while the brittle gold and orange leaves of trees litter the streets and yards. Inside, hearty stews lie simmering in slow cookers, while the radiating warmth of a fire is enjoyed with a full glass of Lodi wine in hand.
The arrival of cool weather in Lodi signals the mid-point of the holiday season – a whirlwind of family and friends, last minute shopping, laughter, dinner parties and “food-comas” typically resulting from overindulgence in rich, savory treats. Arguably, food has become the most important aspect of the holiday season. Let’s not forget the wine. This can be the most difficult decision you’ll have to make with concern to your holiday dinner parties. So how do you choose the right wine to pair with your menu of choice?
So-called wine and culinary experts will tell you to pair white wine with poultry or fish and red wines for heavier foods such as lamb or beef. Here in Lodi, CA we don’t believe in this ‘hoity-toity,’ traditional (and oh-so-boring) food and wine pairing “rule.” Nope, not one bit. In fact, here’s our LoCA thought: Why not be adventurous and try something different? Try Lodi Zin with Indian-spiced short ribs or Lodi Moscato with coconut pudding with pineapple and candied cashews. Our bottom line: Eat food you enjoy and drink wine you love!
In the spirit of eating and drinking what you love, we’ve put together a little list of fabulous food and wine pairings. Gather up your friends and family and celebrate the holidays with a little Lodi wine!
Curried Shrimp with Cucumber Vinaigrette
Pair with 2011 Harney Lane, Lodi Albariño ($19) – Zesty lemon and citrus with hints of pineapple, fragrant jasmine and lemon meringue. harneylane.com
Grilled Maple Chipotle Pork Chops on Gouda Grits
Pair with 2010 d’Art Wines, Lodi Zinfandel ($22) – Rich, dark berries intertwined with white pepper and exotic spice; toasted oak lingering in the finish. dartwines.com
Jamaican-Style Jerk Spareribs with Fresh Lime
Pair with 2010 Fields Family Wines, Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($24) – Bright, concentrated blackberry and black cherry notes; velvety-smooth texture. fieldsfamilywines.com
Mediterranean Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini
Pair with 2010 Klinker Brick Winery, Lodi Farráh Syrah ($20) – Aromas of white chocolate, bacon fat and tobacco; supple tannins with black raspberries, licorice and spices. klinkerbrickwinery.com
Turkey & Chorizo Paella with Smoked Spanish Paprika
Pair with 2010 m2 Wines, Lodi Tormenta Tempranillo ($24) – Medium-bodied with bold flavors of plum and berries, hinting at cherries and spice. m2wines.com
Black-Pepper-Crusted New York Steaks with Black Truffle Vinaigrette
Pair with 2010 Mettler Family Vineyards, Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon ($24) – Smooth with mouth-filling flavors of black cherry and vanilla balanced by toasted spice and cedar. mettlerwine.com