Here's what to sip with the popular new meats and some vegetarian alternatives
story by Sara Schneider
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Wines to savor with the new gourmet meats
You've conquered wine pairing for pasta and steak, but what to pour when it comes to those trickier to pin down meals?
Here, we give our picks for the perfect bottle to savor with popular fine meats and some vegetarian options.
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Sweet pork laced with spices calls for a white. Pour a dry Alsatian-style variety; pungent salami makes the understated fruit pop.
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Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2008 (Willamette Valley; $19). Zippy but elegant pink grapefruit and peach get a kick of lemon zest at the end.
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You need a light-bodied red wine that shares pâté’s earthy character and spice.
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WillaKenzie Estate Cuvée Pinot Noir 2007 (Willamette Valley; $25). Dusty red fruit―cherries and raspberries―spiced with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
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Exotic cured ham
From Spanish Ibérico and serrano to Italian prosciutto, air-cured hams need a juicy red to cut through their sweet marbling.
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Eaglepoint Ranch Grenache 2007 (Mendocino County; $20). Bright, spicy cherries with a red licorice edge softened by lavender.
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Garden veggie burgers
A burger made of nutty grains mixed with sweet and savory produce needs a rich gardenful of flavors in a wine partner.
Pair with:Del Rio Viognier 2008 (Rogue Valley, OR; $20). Extraordinary citrus, lemongrass, and gardenia aromas open to white peach and apricot flavors, with a lively finish.
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Tofurky Italian sausages
Even with a tofu foundation, a peppery Italian sausage needs a bright-fruited, high-acid Italian red to stand up to the spice.
Pair with: Palmina Barbera 2007 (Santa Barbara County; $22). Pomegranate-tart raspberry fruit against lavender, tobacco, and herbs.
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Dress up blank-slate tofu with aromatic ginger and earthy shiitakes, and you have a perfect match for a barely sweet but minerally California Chenin Blanc. For a recipe, see the next slide.
Pair with: Husch Chenin Blanc 2008 (Mendocino; $11). Crisp and delicate but slightly off-dry, with ginger-loving florals, stone fruit, and citrus.
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Vietnamese-style shiitake tofu roll
Pair your bottle of Husch Chenin Blanc with a fresh flavorful Vietnamese-inspired sandwich.
Make it: Spread Asian red chili paste on both sides of a sandwich roll.
Layer with slices of extra-firm tofu browned on both sides in olive oil; sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms sautéed in olive oil; and a slaw made of shredded cabbage and carrots, sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, and minced ginger, dressed with rice vinegar, lime juice, and a little vegetable oil, sugar, and salt.