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But What About the Wine?

Craig Camp

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Hi Craig,

I am always on the lookout for a good "match" for soul food, and when I found one, I scribbled it in my notebook, and add a star. I am peeking right now:

If I could afford it, I think that every time I sat down to dinner at night I would pull out a bottle of rose champagne, such as Tattinger Prestige Rose. A perfect match for my "seasoned" soul food, which often reeks with garlic and herbs. Those bubbles blend perfectly with the textured cuisine.

But baring that, I look for other fruity, young wines, shy on the acidity. This past summer I drank a lot of rose wines, and found Marques de Caceres from Spain a delight. Virtually strawberries and watermelon in a glass; perfect with soul food. And cheap too; $6.95 or so a bottle. Try this with wild salmon hot from the grill and slathered with say, rosemary and coriander.

I also stumbled upon a few white wines this past summer that "matched" so well with my food. One was Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand-- wonderful and fruity, slightly petillant with lively bubbles; a nice fruit and herb balance, not too grassy. Good. I enjoyed the wine with grilled red snapper and fried porgy, an old Southern favorite.

Two other white wines I enjoyed came from Sonoma, California, both from Rancho Zabaco: Pinot Gris, Reserve 2002, and Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve 2002. These two wines are gem; slightly petillant, perfect with fish or chicken; grilled corn and vegetables. Thabini Sauvingon Blanc from South Africa is also great with soul food.

I look for "little" red wines to go with soul food, such Marques de Caceres Rioja; red wines from Portugal, such as Herdade de Santa Marta Vinho and Palha Canas, all soft and supple and fruity. Try these with roast chicken or chicken smothered with mushrooms.

From France I look for the wines from Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone; all young and sappy and fruity. Last year I stumbled upon a delightful Beaujolais Noveau during the annual hype in late November. This one was a beauty: Beaujolais Nouveau Durdilly. It was perfect with Thanksgiving dinner.

I could on and on, but got something cooking on the stove. Enjoy.

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