CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Summer is almost here, and if you're like me, you will do almost anything to avoid yard work. One of my best get-out-of-yard-work ploys is to offer my services as chef de cuisine in the Brown household from time to time.
I take this obligation seriously regardless of the menu du jour and make sure that even the most humble meal is accompanied by an appropriate wine.
Therein lies the challenge.
Pairing wine with an appropriate menu selection can be an intimidating exercise, particularly when you've invited a few friends or business associates to dinner. However, it can also be fun. Today, I'll give a few tips that I hope will make the experience more enjoyable than daunting.
I know you've heard the first commandment in the food and wine bible: "Thou shalt not match red wine with white meat or fish, nor white wine with beef, game or other meats." That's generally pretty good advice.
For instance, there is hardly a better wine and food pairing (for you carnivores) than a thick, juicy steak accompanied by a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon like the ones produced at Franciscan, Silver Oak or Catena (from Argentina).
Likewise, it is hard to beat pairing a full-bodied, unctuous chardonnay such as Chateau Montelena, Talley Vineyards or Falcor with a rich seafood dish like lobster with drawn butter.
While these two classic food and wine combinations seem to underscore the tenets of the aforementioned food and wine bible, I'm going to advise breaking that commandment on occasion. After all, a little sinnin' is fun every now and then.
So let's start breaking rules.