It seems like everyone’s a foodie these days. We all crave la dolce vita, and few activities feel more indulgent than fine dining. Nothing says “the good life” like enjoying your favorite food and beverages. But if your palate is more sophisticated than your pocketbook, you may think food pairings are a waste of time. Not true.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, with a little know-how and creativity, the right pairings will always bring out the best flavors. The trick is to determine what flavors complement and contrast without feeling intimidated.
Here are a few of my favorite budget friendly pairings:
Pesto & Pinot Grigio
Pasta with basil pesto and fresh green vegetables is a fantastic stand-by, because it’s flavorful, simple, and inexpensive to make. Serve with a refreshing, clean, and crisp Campagnola Pinot Grigio.
Fish Tacos & Pale Ale
Throw a frugal fiesta! Grill your favorite flakey white fish and wrap it in a flower tortilla. Top with white cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, salsa, a sprits of lime, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. The moderately sweet aroma, fruity taste, and light body of your favorite pale ale will contrast nicely. Try Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Popcorn & Chardonnay
Sounds crazy, but it’s crazy good. Whether you’re looking for some quality alone time or a fun girl’s night in, this is the perfect snack. Pop an old-fashioned pot of popcorn on the stovetop drizzled in melted butter and parmesan cheese. The toasty flavor of a New world Chardonnay will complement the flavor of the popcorn.
BLT & Burgundy
Did you know that even vegetarians have a hard time giving up bacon? Who doesn’t love a BLT? Pair a Pinot Noir with the smoky saltiness of thick-cut bacon, toasty bread, and cool lettuce and tomato.
Vegetable Curry & India Ale
Sautéed chick peas and vegetables with curry is a basic but delicious dish enjoyed by cultures worldwide, and it’s super easy on the wallet. Curry’s intensely flavorful spiciness goes well with the hoppy maltiness of India Pale Ale.
As you can see, even the tiniest budget covers the cost of these fun and flavorful food and wine/beer pairings. So pass the popcorn. Cheers!