Valley Vineyards Come Of Age

As the economy struggles and wacky weather compromises this year’s harvest, Valley vintners are doing surprisingly well thanks to a little local love and another killer vintage


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Wine and foodPhotograph courtesy of Michael Jung/Shutterstock

Match Game

A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine,” proclaimed 19th-century French writer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. A tad overdramatic, perhaps, but a sentiment any wine lover worth his or her residual sugar would find agreeable. The key to a wine-enhanced meal is to know which varietals pair with which eats. In general, “you don’t want the food overpowering the wine, and you don’t want the wine overpowering the food,” says Bruce Kimball of Millbrook Vineyards and Winery. For more specific advice, check out these recommendations from the region’s top wineheads:

Barbecue: The right wine can complement any type of barbecue grub. Let’s start with the classy stuff: For steak, Wendy Crispell of Benmarl Winery recommends a Cabernet Sauvignon, since “the tannins in the wine cut through the fat in the steak.” (Tannins are plant compounds that give a wine its flavor, texture, and complexity.) Arlington Wine and Liquor’s Bob Brink, meanwhile, suggests a Zinfandel for steak, specifically the $13 Four Vines variety. Match lighter grill fare like quail and rabbit with a light wine such as Pinot Noir, Kimball says. For other picnic fodder: Brink says hot dogs and hamburgers go down easy with a glass or two of peppery Shiraz. He recommends a French Rosé for pasta salad, while Kimball suggests Millbrook’s Hunt Country Red, especially for salad coated in spicy seasoning.

Seafood: Salmon can be paired with a red wine like a California Pinot Noir or a white like Chardonnay, says Brink. The folks at Hudson Wine Merchants recommend a 2007 Olivier Morin Chitry to accompany a lobster dish.

Asian: Follow the old “opposites attract” adage here and you’ll have one happy palate. Match spicy Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Thai foods with sweet wines such as Riesling or Millbrook’s Tocai Friulano.

Next: Tour our vineyards and wineries


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