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Throughout the season we'll be adding the dishes, pairings, and restaurants you see on the show. Be sure to check frequently for all the exciting additions!

Featured White Wine

Okunomatsu Sake
This is Aris' pairing for Vegetarian Sushi from Made in Japan Catering
Producer: Okunomatsu Sake Brewery Company Country: Japan Region:
Major Grape:
Predicate: Junmai
What could be more natural than Japanese sushi with Japanese sake? Premium sake is brewed with special rice in which the desired starch component is concentrated at the center of the grain. The undesirable proteins, fats, and amino acids that lead to unwanted flavors are located toward the outside. Milling polishes off the grain to concentrate the starchy heart. The amount of milling determines quality. This Okunomatsu is a junmai level sake which means that about 30% of the outer portion of the grain has been milled away. The best sake will have 65% milling. Sake is best served lightly chilled. The aromas and flavors are very delicate and subtle, as is the texture.


Blend


White Sangria
This is Aris' pairing for Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp with Sherry) from Gervais and Vine
Producer: Gervais and Vine Country: USA State: SC Region:
Major Grape: Blend
To make White Sangria you will need:

1 bottle white wine (Spanish table wine like Viura, Verdejo or a fruity Pinot Grigio from California or Itlay)
½ cup Peach Shnapps
1 Orange, sliced
1 Lemon, sliced
1 Lime, sliced
1 Peach, sliced
2 ounces simple syrup

Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.


Chardonnay


2002 Foley - Santa Rita Hills 'Rancho Santa Rosa' Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Moroccan Pesto Calamari with Olives, Tomatoes and Asiago Cheese from 95 Cordova
Producer: Foley Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills
Vineyard: Rancho Santa Rosa
This fabulous dish is richly textured and packed with flavorful spices, but is not hot spicy. We wanted a wine that would make an equally bold statement as the dish and chose a Foley Chardonnay from the Santa Rita Hills, one of California's premier Chardonnay AVA's.

The aroma is a tightly integrated blend of crisp, apply Chardonnay fruit, a butterscotch richness, sweet, toasty oak and hints of yeast and minerals. On the palate there is a lush, rich quality supported by bracing acidity that carries the complex flavors promised by the nose. A delightful package eminently suited to this dish.

Click here to visit their website.

2002 Matanzas Creek - Sonoma County Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for The Seafood Strudel (Shrimp, Scallops and Salmon wrapped in Phyllo dough) from 95 Cordova
Producer: Matanzas Creek Country: United States State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Sonoma
Crafting this fruit-forward and elegant Chardonnay continues a 25 year tradition at Matanzas Creek Winery. It is made from grapes harvested within a diverse collection of Sonoma County vineyards with fruit from Sonoma County's Bennett Valley AVA (American Viticultural Appellation) blended with complementary fruit from the prestigious Sonoma Valley and Carneros AVA's. A deft touch of oak adds a vanilla nuance to the honeysuckle perfume of its lovely aroma and a toasty note to the ripe apple and citrus fruits that abound on the palate.

The only thing better than this wine was the way it married with this equally elegant and complex dish. This is what they mean by wine-food synergy.

Click here to visit their website.

2002 Mia's Playground - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Pan-seared Sea Scallops over Creamed Sweet Corn with White Balsamic Syrup, Parmesan Crisp and Roasted Garlic Foam from Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe
Producer: Don Sebastiani & Sons Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Russian River
Scallops are a delicate and sweet fish with subtle flavors. In this dish we have to contend with the strong and sharp flavors of the balsamic and the parmesan. Feeling I needed a full throttle Chardonnay I chose this Mia's Playground. Heavy toast and rich vanilla aromas are underscored by ripe peach, melon and apricots. The palate bursts with luscious fig and tropical fruits and finishes like lemon-zested vanilla cream. There is just enough acidity to tie the package together.

Click here to visit their website.

2002 Murphy-Goode - Island Block Vineyard Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab and Cilantro from Mangia Mangia
Producer: Murphy-Goode Country: United States State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Vineyard: Island Block
Island Block is Murphy-Goode's estate Chardonnay vineyard located on the banks of the Russian River. Its gravely bench-land soils in combination with the river’s cooling influence make for a distinctive and expressive style of Chardonnay. Excellent concentration of fruit while maintaining a sense of elegance is the hallmark of this wine. Bountiful varietal aromas join a broad streak of creamy, toasty oak creating a rich, lively, complex bouquet. Green apples and tropical fruits saturate the palate while a lemony crispness sets up the glycerin- rich, vanilla- sweetened butterscotch flavors.

Delicious by itself or for the table where rich foods like this soup need taming. That Chardonnay will match with crab is a no-brainer, but the avocado's richness and the cilantro spice needed this wine's rich texture and firm structure for balance.

Click here to visit their website.

2002 RagApple Lassie Chardonnay
Producer: RagApple Lassie Country: United States State: NC Region: Yadkin Valley
Major Grape: Chardonnay
RagApple Lassie is one of the leaders of a North Carolina wine renaissance that has resulted in the Yadkin Valley being granted AVA (American Viticultural Area) status. Their Chardonnay is made in a very food friendly style with a medium body weight and a well balanced mix of ripe citrus and tropical fruits, buttered toast and vanilla. The Chardonnay had just enough richness and flavor to stand up to the cream with cheese sauce and the curry spice but not so much as to overwhelm the delicate shrimp. It was a delicate balancing act but the RagApple Lassie handled it well.

Click here to visit their website.

2002 Robert Mondavi - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Chicken Topped With Crawfish Diane from Cajun Queen
Producer: Robert Mondavi Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
Like all Mondavi estate wines, this Chardonnay is classic in all respects and shows the deft touch of the winery in creating wines of balance and class. Lovely floral aromas of fresh appley fruit and rich, buttery, oaky components. Lush, mouthfilling flavors of well focused varietal fruit, nicely interwoven with oak and crisp acidity, show good breeding. This is a carefully proportioned wine of charm, balance and power and great flexibility at the table.

The dish needed a wine of substance to handle the chicken and the spicy sauce but with the proper restraint to not overshadow its unique array of flavors.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Biltmore Estate - Chateau Reserve Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Wrapped Wild Salmon with Mushroom Risotto and Biltmore Estate Garden Peas from The Dining Room at the Inn at Biltmore Estate
Producer: Biltmore Estate Winery Country: USA State: CA Region: Asheville
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Blue Ridge Valley
Predicate: Chateau Reserve
Biltmore's Estate Chardonnay is one of their finest wines, combining richness and structure with finesse and balance. Oak is present as a complimentary spice and never intrudes on the ripe apple and citrus fruit. The finish is long and contemplative.

When paired with the salmon, both were enlivened. The rich, oily nature of the salmon was complimented by the wine's ripe fruit and butterscotch flavors while being balanced by the wine's crisp acidity. The oak matched up with the smoky prosciutto while the mushrooms found a friend in both the fruit and oak. Overall this was a resounding success.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Franciscan - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Shrimp and Prosciutto Spedini with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette from Gianni & Gaitano’s
Producer: Franciscan Oakville Estate Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
This Franciscan Chardonnay is classically Napa Valley in its broad stroke of ripe apple, citrus and tropical fruits. Barrel fermentation and aging deliver toasty, vanilla notes while its 'sur lie' aging adds a yeasty note. The texture is creamy yet there is plenty of acidity to give it a firm backbone.

I was afraid this might be a little too big a wine for this dish, but while it's got all the classic Napa Chardonnay flavors, it is not a heavyweight. It did not overwhelm the shrimp but rather made it feel like you were adding a rich butter sauce to it. The oak was a nice match for the smoky, meaty prosciutto. In the end I felt both the wine and dish were improved by the match.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Funky Llama - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Pan Seared American Red Snapper, over a Cajun Sweet Potato Hash from Crescent Grille
Producer: Funky Llama Country: Argentina Region: Mendoza
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Mendoza
The Llama is the symbol of the Andes, where the grapes for this 'fun', Chardonnay come from. Ripe fruit flavors of pear and apple are the product of the bright sunshine the grapes bath in at the 3000 foot elevation of the vineyards. The high elevation also leads to cool nights that retain the refreshing quality in the grapes.

No oak is used here, leaving the natural taste of the grapes to shine through and blend with the snapper and sweet potatoes. The wines palate is fleshy and juicy which helps offset the Cajun spiciness.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Liberty School - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Key West Cashew Crusted Red Snapper with Coconut Rum Sauce from Key West Grill
Producer: Liberty School Country: USA State: CA Region: Central Coast
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
The vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands are cooled by breezes from Monterey Bay allowing the grapes to mature at a long, slow and even pace. This keeps the acidity bright and the fruit fresh, but not at the expense of the sun-ripened richness we've come to expect from California Chardonnay.

This Liberty School Chardonnay is a flexible, food-friendly wine and this is a very wine-friendly dish, a great win-win situation.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Pedroncelli - F. Johnson Vineyard Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Murrell’s Inlet Seafood Grits from Divine Dining Group Restaurants: Bovine’s Wood Fired & Divine Fish House
Producer: Pedroncelli Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Vineyard: F. Johnson
This is a hearty dish that needs a hearty wine, a job perfectly suited to a classic California Chardonnay. What could be more classic then a winery with 75 years of winemaking history? Chardonnay comes in many styles and this one is no shy wallflower.

100% barrel fermentation and partial malolactic fermentation give a rich, creamy texture to compliment the fruit which is a balanced mix of tropical fruit ripeness with citrus and green apple firmness. There is just enough toasty, vanilla laced oak to give complexity to the fruit and compliment the smoky taste of the sausage.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Simi - Russian River Reserve Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Pan Seared Branzino Arrostito with a Lemon, Caper, Tomato and White Wine Sauce from Gianni & Gaitano’s
Producer: Simi Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Russian River
Vineyard: Goldfields Vineyard
Predicate: Reserve
When top quality food is cooked, as it is here, in a simple and elegant way to enhance its natural flavors and textures, I tend to reach for my best wines because they are designed to enhance the natural qualities of the grape and microclimate of the vineyard. The grapes for this Simi Reserve come from the Goldfields Vineyard in the Russian River AVA and they deliver vivid, blossomy fruit flavors, suggestive of apples, lemons and tropical fruit. The fruit is enriched by creamy, toasty oak which never intrudes on the basic Chardonnay themes of this exquisitely sculptured wine. On the palate the luscious ripeness is buoyed by generous acidity, providing refreshment and food handling capabilities. Its finish goes on and on.

Click here to visit their website.

2003 Tango Sur - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Asian Sea Bass from City Tavern Hearst Tower
Producer: Tango Sur Country: Argentina Region: Mendoza
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Mendoza
Whenever the wine talk turns to Argentina, the word 'value' is virtually always used in the same breath. Tango Sur is a fun and inexpensive wine to drink, with lots of straightforward ripe fruit showing correct Chardonnay varietal character with a soft, easy drinking palate and clean aftertaste.

Tango Sur provides a nice canvas onto which a chef can showcase a superb dish like this.

2003 Wente - Livermore Valley Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Grouper with Horseradish Hash Browns from 45 South at the Pirate’s House
Producer: Wente Country: USA State: CA Region: San Francisco Bay
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Livermore Valley
No wimpy wines need apply for this dish, but no bruisers allowed either. With 125 years of experience Wente has mastered the technique of making forceful wines that also show finesse. Wente's unique Livermore Valley soil and climate combine to give a richly textured Chardonnay with ripe tropical and crisp citrus fruit flavors. A gentle kiss of oak and yeasty notes add complexity and a light vanilla spice sweetens up the acidity in the finish.

The wine was gentle enough for the grouper yet strong enough for the blue cheese.

Click here to visit their website.

2004 Mondavi - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Delightful Salmon Salad from Angus Barn Restaurant
Producer: Robert Mondavi Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Carneros
Mondavi wines combine richness with a sense of restraint that keeps you coming back for more. This is especially welcome with Chardonnay that can often get too heavy, tiring the palate and hide the nuances of microclimate. This wine delivers ripe apple, apricot and a tropical fruit character accented by floral, mineral and cinnamon spice nuances. Its toasty flavors and creamy finish from barrel fermentation and sur-lie barrel aging add to the wine's complexity. Richness, complexity and subtlety can also describe the dish so the match worked well. This dish is very wine friendly and would also have done well with a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or a red like Pinot Noir.

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2005 Banrock Station - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Sweet Chile Marinate Ahi Tuna with Black Bean Butter Sauce and Jicama Mango Slaw from Christopher's New Global Cuisine
Producer: Banrock Station Country: Australia Region:
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Banrock Station offers good quality at a price that makes them 'everyday' wines. Offering the wine is a 'bag-in-a-box' format gets the price even lower and keeps the wine fresh for months. The full palate of this Chardonnay is characterized by ripe tropical fruit flavors of peach, pineapple and pear, coupled with subtle hints of oak. A clean and crisp finish balances this easy drinking style of wine. The Chardonnay's richness was enough to balance the tuna and spices and offered fruit flavors more complimentary to the jicama and mango than a red wine would.

Click here to visit their website.

2005 Black Box - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Lobster Ravioli from Mia Famiglia
Producer: Black Box Country: USA State: CA Region: Monterey
Major Grape: Chardonnay
The Black Box motto is "think inside the box". There you will find a vacuum-sealed plastic bag filled with the equivalent of four bottles of wine. As wine is drawn from the spout the bag collapses, preventing air from entering and spoiling the wine. The most important thing about Black Box wines, however, is the high quality of the wines they use. Black Box Chardonnay is a classy wine with a delectable fruity character redolent of apple, pineapple and tropical fruits that provides the richness and body weight to match the dish.

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2005 Cakebread Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Ginger Roasted Chicken with Green Beans from Jujube Restaurant-Asian Kitchen and Bar
Producer: Cakebread Cellars Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley

2005 Greg Norman - Victoria Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Fiery Shrimp Tostadas/Tostadas de Camaron a la Diabla from The Prickly Pear
Producer: Greg Norman Estates Country: Austria Region: Victoria
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Greg Norman got the nickname "Great White Shark" during his career as a world class pro golfer because of his tenacious pursuit of perfection and winning. That same determination is now being applied to winemaking to craft the kind of Chardonnay he loves. The Greg Norman style delivers oodles of lush Chardonnay fruit redolent of ripe apples and tropical fruits enhanced by a toasty, vanilla cream oakiness. The wines texture is solid but not tart. The spice, heat and tomatoes in the dish call for either a mildly sweet wine or a dry wine with enough ripe fruit and creamy texture that it acts like a sweet wine to balance the ingredients. I chose the lush, dry style here and this Greg Norman Chardonnay performed admirably.

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2005 Heron - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Honey Lavender Glazed Salmon with Dijon Peppercorn Sauce from Christopher's New Global Cuisine
Producer: Heron Wines Country: USA State: CA Region: California
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Laely Heron makes wines in France, Spain and California. Her international flair has created wines of balance, complexity and food compatibility. The flavors offer a cornucopia of tropical fruit flavors, that are ripe and lush but never feel heavy, thanks to Heron's preference for cool climate grapes and preventing malolactic fermentation that combine to yield a firm acid structure. Oak is present but well integrated in the fruit. Interesting notes of sweet brown spices emerge. How Heron manages this quality and constantly wins best-buy awards is amazing. Heron Chardonnay with this dish is a winning combination. Both the wine and dish possess a stylistic combination of richness and elegance and the flavors are complimentary.

Click here to visit their website.

2005 La Puerta - Chardonnay
This is Aris' pairing for Curried Tuna with Sesame Vegetables from Pewter Rose Bistro
Producer: La Puerta Country: Argentina Region: La Rioja
Major Grape: Chardonnay
Appellation: Famatina Valley
La Puerta delivers good quality at a fair price. Their Chardonnay is a fruit driven style that is richly laden with ripe tropical fruits on a full body that is able to absorb the curry and still have plenty of energy left for the tuna. The coconut milk and cream give the dish a rich sweetness that requires a wine with either some sweetness of its own or a level of ripe fruitiness that gives the impression of sweetness. This wine goes the ripe fruit route to balance the dish and add some delectable flavors of its own.

Click here to visit their website.


Chenin Blanc


2003 Remy Panniere - Vouvray
This is Aris' pairing for Seared Ahi Tuna Steak with Ginger Mashed Potatoes and Wasabi Mayonnaise from Key West Grill
Producer: Remy Panniere Country: France Region: Loire Valley
Major Grape: Chenin Blanc
Appellation: Vouvray
The Loire Valley's Vouvray appellation is a source of one of the world's best white wine values, and this Remy Panniere is a classic, delivering the richness of fruit and firmness of structure to handle both the richness of the Tuna and heat of the wasabi. Fresh, fruity, peach and melon aromas and flavors show plenty of varietal definition and are an invitation to to enjoy this delightful wine's charms. A light sweetness compliments the fruity impressions while piercing fruit acids prepare the wine to deal with the food and cleanse the palate.


Gewurztraminer


2002 Jean-Baptiste Adam - Gewurztraminer Reserve
This is Aris' pairing for Bavarian Potato Salad with Red Onion and Poppyseed Palmiers from 700 Kitchen Cooking School at the Mansion on Forsyth Park
Producer: Jean-Baptiste Adam Country: France Region: Alsace
Major Grape: Gewurztraminer
Appellation: Alsace
Predicate: Reservre
This highly respected Alsatian firm offers an enchanting perfume with rose petal and litchi flavors in a Gewurztraminer that relies on stylish elegance rather than raw power for its appeal. Lush with ripe fruit on the palate and balanced with crisp acidity and a light bitter twang in the finish, this wine offers a wide variety of food matching possibilities.

Gewurztraminer is a hard wine to pair with food but it found real compatibility with this dish. You can use Gewurztraminer to match the spices in your dish or to add spice to a more neutral dish.


Godello


2003 Gallegas - Galiciano Godello Valdeorras
This is Aris' pairing for Trout Woodbridge from The Inn at Brevard
Producer: Gallegas Country: Spain Region: Galicia
Major Grape: Godello
Appellation: Valdeorras
This neat wine comes from Galicia in northwest Spain where the cool maritime climate is well suited to making white wines. Valdeorras is a sub-region of Galicia and the Godello grape is native to Valdeorras. Both versions of trout, while different, emphasized the freshness and delicacy of the trout, so I felt they needed a wine that would compliment and enhance their flavors and textures and not overpower the dishes in weight or flavor.

This lively wine offered bright citrus and complex mineral flavors to the trout and both versions accepted them gracefully and incorporated them into the overall finale to the enrichment of both wine and food.


Picpoul de Pinet


2004 Hugues Beaulieu - Picpoul de Pinet
This is Aris' pairing for Chilled Poached Trout with Dill Mayonnaise and New Potato Salad from Grape Escape Wine Bar and Grill
Producer: Hugues Beaulieu Country: France Region: Languedoc
Major Grape: Picpoul de Pinet
Appellation: Coteaux du Langudoc
What an interesting wine. Picpoul de Pinet is an ancient Languedoc grape that is making a revival, and with good reason. The hot Languedoc is most noted for red wines because most white grapes have a hard time retaining acidity and freshness in such a hot climate.

Picpoul, which means "lip-stinger" is notable for its crisp, lemony acidity which blends with its ripe, peach-like fruit to offer a delightfully refreshing and food friendly wine. To really enjoy wine you need to be willing to experiment. It's such a joy to dig up gems like this.


Pinot Auxerrois


2003 Albert Mann - Pinot Auxerrois
This is Aris' pairing for Grouper alla Putanesca from La Cava Restaurant
Producer: Albert Mann Country: France Region: Alsace
Major Grape: Pinot Auxerrois
Appellation: Alsace
Predicate: Vieilles Vignes
Pinot Auxerrois is a unique grape from Alsace, one of the world's greatest white wine regions. The Albert Mann estate has been making wine since the 18th century. The nose is rich and generously endowed with pear and melon like fruit with spicy nuances. The palate follows suit with a full flavored and creamy texture that's brimming with lush fruit and light spice. There is just enough acidity for balance but the finish still leaves the impression of soft creaminess.

The richness and natural spiciness of Alsatian wines is especially friendly to Mediterranean style dishes like this which express the fresh taste of the ingredients.


Pinot Grigio


2005 Banfi - San Angelo Pinot Grigio
This is Aris' pairing for Pasta al Nero di Seppia from Hadco Facility
Producer: Banfi Country: Italy Region: Tuscany
Major Grape: Pinot Grigio
Predicate: San Angelo
This American-owned estate has been declared "International Winery of the Year" an unprecedented four times at VinItaly. Their San Angelo Pinot Grigio, from the calcareous soil and temperate microclimate of Tuscany, yields a Pinot Grigio that's richer in fruit than it's cousins from Italy's cooler northeastern mountainous regions but retains enough acidity for balance and food compatibility. The floral nose and ripe palate offer fruit flavors bordering on the tropical but also deliver a refreshing cut of minerality in the finish. The dish is focused on the purity of its ingredients and the wine is focused on the purity of its fruit and refreshing finish.

Click here to visit their website.


Pinot Gris


2002 King Estate - Pinot Gris
This is Aris' pairing for Roasted Halibut with Radicchio and Creamed Corn from Four Square Restaurant
Producer: King Estate Country: USA State: OR Region: Willamette Valley
Major Grape: Pinot Gris
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Apples, citrus and melon are but a few of the flavors that come to mind when smelling and tasting this 'fruit basket' of a wine. Ripe and fleshy on the palate with enough acidity to keep the fruit vibrant. This delicious wine can also serve double duty as an any time sipping wine as well as a food wine.

All these qualities are just what this dish needed. This is a match of similarities. The dish and wine are solid and rich but not heavy. The wine is sharply focused on its varietal heritage without any oak influence and the halibut has not been spiced or sauced to detract from its natural flavors. Overall, this was a super match.

Click here to visit their website.

2004 Yellowtail - Reserve Pinot Grigio
This is Aris' pairing for Capellini Crab Cakes with Jicama Salsa and Remoulade from City Tavern Hearst Tower
Producer: Yellowtail Country: Australia Region:
Major Grape: Pinot Gris
Predicate: Reserve
Wines like this are the engine that drove the Australian wine industry to the top echelons of the 'everyday table wine' section of the wine market. Low priced, easy-drinking and full flavored with a round yet firm texture, it does double duty as a sipping wine, an aperitif or dinner wine.

Pinot Gris is a good choice for wines in the lower price brackets as it often delivers more interesting flavors than Chardonnay. There is a 'fruit basket' quality to the flavors making it hard to focus in on just one fruit analogy. There is just enough acidity to handle food but not enough to feel tart.

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2005 Holly's Garden - Pinot Gris
This is Aris' pairing for Seared Flounder, Kale & Cucumber Salad, Watermelon Vinaigrette & Fresh Summer Vegetables from Cafe on the Square
Producer: Prentice Family Vignerons Country: Australia Region: Moondarra
Major Grape: Pinot Gris
Appellation: Whitland
Australian Pinot Gris makes a unique statement, different from Italian Pinot Grigio, Oregon Pinot Gris or Alsace Pinot Gris which is the homeland for this grape. This wine has a fatter and softer palate with flavors leaning more towards tropical fruits. Its backbone is solid without being tart.

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Blackstone Pinot Grigio
This is Aris' pairing for Pan Roasted Grouper with Fresh Corn, Tomatoes and Arugula from Frazier's Bistro
Producer: Blackstone Country: USA State: CA Region: Monterey
Major Grape: Pinot Gris

Click here to visit their website.


Riesling


2005 St. Rita - Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Kabinett
This is Aris' pairing for Ultimate Cold Sushi Nachos and Sashimi Martini from Made in Japan Catering
Producer: St. Rita Country: Germany Region: Mosel (Mosel Saar Ruwer)
Major Grape: Riesling
Appellation: Piesporter
Predicate: Kabinett
German wine is an excellent match for so many oriental dishes, especially where there is heat, like the wasabi in this dish. This delightful Mosel from the highly respected town of Piesport has the delicacy to pair with the sashimi grade fish, the light sweetness to handle the wasabi and the acidity to cleanse the palate. The fruit speaks of grapefruit and white flowers and the palate is light bodied and crisp. Like so many good matches, both the dish and wine were improved by the new flavors and textures produced.

2001 Dirler - Riesling Bollenberg
This is Aris' pairing for Curried Crab & Goat Cheese Soufflé from 700 Kitchen Cooking School at the Mansion on Forsyth Park
Producer: Dirler Country: France Region: Alsace
Major Grape: Riesling
Appellation: Alsace
Vineyard: Bollenberg
A family with generations of winemaking skill offers this lovely wine delivering an enticing bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus with stony mineral scents. Bone dry with slatey acidity playing against ripe Riesling fruit, a distinctive Alsace spiciness, a light oily texture and med-full body.

There's a sense of youthful vitality, elegance and class yet it has the depth and structure to slice through food like a finely honed knife. And slice through the food it does, refreshing the palate and blending its flavors with the dish for an exciting finale. Neither the richness of the cheese nor the spiciness of the curry gave the wine any problems.

2002 Bollig-Lehnert Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese
Producer: Bollig-Lehnert Trittenheimer Apotheke Country: Region:
Major Grape: Riesling
The juicy, crisp, lightly sweet and delicate fruity flavors of the pear act as a moderator of the intense flavors and saltiness of the blue cheese. The Mosel Riesling will mimic the pear's actions with its own delectable fruitiness, brisk acidity and medium sweetness. Together the pear and Riesling will combine with the blue cheese to achieve balance and synergy. What a match!

2002 Dr. Fisher - Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett
This is Aris' pairing for Ahi Tuna with Asian Sweet/Sour Soy Sauce from Vinnie's Steakhouse & Tavern
Producer: Dr. Fisher Country: Germany Region: Saar (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)
Major Grape: Riesling
Appellation: Ockfen
Vineyard: Bockstein
Predicate: Kabinett
The soil of the Bockstein vinyard, located in the town of Ockfen on the Saar River, consists of hard slate stones. These stones hlep hold the sun's heat to warm the vine on the cold evenings so common on the Saar and adds a strong mineral component to the flavors.

The wine has a clarity of ripe apple and citrus fruit flavors that enlivens the palate and marries synergistcally with the tuna. The light sweetness and brisk acidity matches the sweet/sour Asian sauce.

2002 Franz Karl Schmitt - Niersteiner Olberg Riesling Kabinett
This is Aris' pairing for Rice Paper Wrapped Tuna on a salad of Mizzuna, Avocado and Radish with Grapefruit-Wasabi Vinaigrette from Four Square Restaurant
Producer: Franz Karl Schmitt Country: Germany Region: Rheinhessen
Major Grape: Riesling
Appellation: Nierstein
Vineyard: Olberg
Predicate: Kabinett
I've always felt that Nierstein is the best place in the Rheinhessen for Riesling, and this Karl Schmitt from the Olberg vineyard helps validate that feeling. A lovely balance of crisp acidity and light sweetness enhances the floral and fruity qualities of the wine. Like all fine Rieslings, there is a sense of delicacy, yet the wine has the underlying strengths capable of dealing with a dish like this.

And what a great dish this is! Such an interesting set of contrasts, like the delicate and crispy rice paper around the rich, succulent salmon, the bitter vegetables and sweet/tart grapefruit and ginger. The heat of the wasabi and bitterness of the vegetables was handled by the wine's sweetness while its acidity balanced the acidity in the dish. The juicy Riesling fruit complimented the succulence of the tuna. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Great dish with a fine wine!

2002 Rudi Wiest Selection - Mosel River Riesling
This is Aris' pairing for Rock Shrimp Risotto from Plantation Room at the Celebration Hotel
Producer: Rudi Wiest Selection Country: Germany Region: Mosel (Mosel Saar Ruwer)
Major Grape: Riesling
Appellation: Mosel
This a very rich and creamy dish yet delicately flavored, very subtle and quietly complex. There is one wine that matches those qualities, and that wine is German Riesling.

Rudi Wiest is an importer of German wine and has assembled this Mosel River Riesling from selections of the estates he represents. The wine delivers a lively, blossomy nose of honeysuckle and lemon. A slatey, citrusy crisp palate impression is precisely balanced by lightly sweet fruit which has a peach, grapefruit and light floral quality.

2003 St. Christopher - Riesling
This is Aris' pairing for Blackened Or Grilled Fish Served With Blackened Scallops And Pineapple And Melon Salsa from Cajun Queen
Producer: St Christopher Country: Germany Region: Pfalz
Major Grape: Riesling
Appellation: Pfalz
Blackening spices pose a problem for many dry wines as they seem even drier and make the food seem hotter. A dry but richly fruited Chardonnay would have worked but most of those come with oaky flavors and I felt this dish had enough of a smoky taste from the spices and grill pan. Also, the melon salsa is already providing a counterpoint to the fish, lessening the need for lots of fruit in the wine. German Rieslings offer a delightful companion for this dish with their delicate floral notes, lightly sweet fruitiness and refreshing, citrusy acidity. This St. Christopher fits that mold perfectly.

2005 Bonny Doon - Pacific Rim Dry Riesling
This is Aris' pairing for Shrimp Nigiri, Tuna Roll and California Roll from Made in Japan Catering
Producer: Bonny Doon Vineyard Country: USA State: WA Region: Mosel, Germany/Washington State
Major Grape: Riesling
Predicate: Pacific Rim
This was an easy match because the wine is made specifically for this type of dish. A unique blend of Washington State Riesling with Riesling made by the Selbach-Oster winery in the Mosel region of Germany. The nose is lovely blend of flowers and ripe fruits. The palate is delicate and dry but filled with so much fruit flavor it has a sense of sweetness. Apples, grapefruit, apricots and lime blossom are a delight to the senses and blend effortlessly with the food. The refreshing acidity sets up the palate for another round of delights.

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Sauvignon Blanc


2002 Flora Springs - Soliloquy
This is Aris' pairing for Pollo al Marche from 700 Kitchen Cooking School at the Mansion on Forsyth Park
Producer: Flora Springs Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Oakville
Vineyard: Crossroads Ranch
Predicate: Soliloquy
A soliloquy is a dramatic monolog, and this wine expresses its 100% Sauvignon Blanc heritage for all to hear, loud and clear. Oak played a role in the wine's elevation but the richness of its fruit relegates the oak flavors to a complimentary spice. The ripe fruit carries melon and fig flavors to marry with the herbaceous, lemon grass and gooseberry character of the grape.

With a solid body and firm acidity it was ready to challenge this rich and complex dish. It handled the chicken with ease, married its flavors with the vegetables and had the acidity for the vinaigrette. What a great wine and food marriage!

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2002 Golding - Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Warmed Summer Vegetable Salad Laced with Licorice and Top with Toasted Sesame Seeds from George's on Tybee
Producer: Golding Country: Australia Region: Adelaide Hills
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Lenswood
High in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia the sun blesses the grapes with the warmth required to reach a delectable ripeness, but the cool nights allow the grapes to retain their crisp acidity. Sauvignon Blanc thrives in this climate yielding this vibrant and delightfully fruity wine, redolent of lime and passion fruit, with all the classic herbal, gooseberry and lemongrass aromas and flavors that marry so well with complex salads like this.

2002 Murphy-Goode - Fume Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Fried Coconut Shrimp over Wasabi Slaw and a Sweet and Sour Chili Glaze from Crescent Grille
Producer: Murphy-Goode Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Pope Valley
I love Sauvignon Blanc with shellfish and often go for the more classic green herbaceous style but I felt this dish, with its reliance on heat from the wasabi and chile, needed more fruit and textural richness for balance.

Murphy-Goode is a master at crafting Sauvignon Blanc in the style I needed. Lush tropical fruits with melon and fig overtones are given an extra measure of richness by the addition of some barrel fermented wine which also adds hints smoke and vanilla. A ripe grapefruit crispness provides structure while the classic green herbaceous notes remain in the background for added complexity.

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2002 Robert Mondavi - Stags Leap District Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Oysters Rockefeller from Vinnie's Steakhouse & Tavern
Producer: Robert Mondavi Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Stags Leap
Vineyard: Wappo Hill
What more can you ask for then a classic dish done to perfection. Well, how about a classic wine done to perfection. From a single vineyard in the Stags Leap AVA, one of Napa's best sub-regions, this wine makes a dramatic statement.

Using lots that were barrel fermented and barrel aged helps hold the classic herbaceous, lemongrass flavors in check while adding richness and complexity to the intense pear and melon fruit and mineral notes. Bracing acidity balances the oaky sweetness on the palate, allowing the fruity center to remain the wines dominant theme. This is a benchmark wine and a standard bearer for California Sauvignon Blanc.

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2003 Biltmore Estate - Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Goat Cheese "Gnocchi" With Vegetables From Biltmore’s Kitchen Garden, Arugula And Basil Pesto from The Dining Room at the Inn at Biltmore Estate
Producer: Biltmore Estate Winery Country: USA State: WA Region:
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
The flavors of Sauvignon Blanc have an affinity for goat cheese and also for vegetables, making it a natural choice for this dish. Biltmore did a nice job creating such a lively wine with inviting fruity aromas, ripe flavors carrying a clear varietal identity and finishing with a lemony tart edge.

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2003 Dyed in the Wool - Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Stack from Grape Escape Wine Bar and Grill
Producer: Dyed in the Wool Country: New Zealand Region: Marlborough
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Marlborough
This dish could have paired just as well with a red wine, an Italian Barbera being my first choice, but I chose white mainly because of my love for the match of Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese. The type of Sauvignon Blanc I looked for with this dish are those with purity of fruit (no oak please) delivering an earthy pungency and sharpness of palate that will match the earthy pungency of the cheese and the acidity of the tomato.

The regions I believe provide these qualities with the greatest consistency are the Loire Valley and New Zealand, which is the one I chose. Dyed in the Wool is from Marlborough, which is New Zealand's premier Sauvignon Blanc region. Needless to say, the match was a resounding success.

2003 Neveu - Sancerre 'Clos des Bouffants'
This is Aris' pairing for Savory Crepes from 700 Drayton Restaurant at the Mansion on Forsyth Park
Producer: Neveu Country: France Region: Loire Valley
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Sancerre
Predicate: Clos des Bouffants
This wine shows why Sancerre is often called the Chablis of the Loire. The mineral taste of flint is the driving force behind the classic herbaceous, feline and lemongrass varietal flavors as the wine attacks the nose and palate with authority. The nose is penetrating and the palate fresh and racy with steely acidity. The solid core of fruit shows excellent density and length, being lean and svelte rather than ripe and round.

This is a superbly crafted wine, true to its regional and varietal heritage, coupling power with finesse. It’s hard to imagine a better wine with these Savory Crepes with Lobster.

2003 Robert Mondavi - Fume Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Carolina “Low Country” Seafood Paella from Arpa Tapas, Wine Bar and Grill
Producer: Robert Mondavi Country: United States State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Grape Blend: 89% Sauvignon Blanc + 11% Semillon
Appellation: Napa Valley
In 1966 Robert Mondavi invented this style of Sauvignon which became the benchmark for California. It is dry, crisp and refreshing with vibrant fruit tasting of citrus, pineapple and lemon grass with notes of gooseberry, green herbs and minerals. A dash of Semillon adds roundness and notes of melon and fig while a hiss of oak lends a touch of vanilla.

What a great pairing for this spectacular Paella. It takes a versatile wine to deal with an 'everything but the kitchen sink' dish like this and the wine performed admirably.

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2003 Simi - Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Specialty Salads and Dressings from San Francisco Oven
Producer: Simi Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Sonoma
I'm always wary about seeming predictable, but when it comes to salads with vinaigrette dressings I just gotta have my Sauvignon Blanc. While we're talking about predictable, how about a winery like Simi who can always be counted on to provide top of the line quality and value.

While predictability may seem boring to some, this match-up was anything but boring. This well crafted Sauvignon Blanc has the bright, citrusy acidity to balance the dressing, the herbaceous/grassy notes to compliment the vegetables and the rich melon and fig fruit flavors to handle the chicken. Like they say, "nothing succeeds like success".

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2004 Monkey Bay - Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Tammy Dyer’s Almond Grouper from Red Rocks Café, Bar, and Bakery
Producer: Monkey Bay Country: New Zealand Region: Marlborough
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Marlborough
We needed a fairly substantial wine for this dish, considering the cream and reduction sauces have added richness of texture and concentration of flavors. Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in the Marlborough region of New Zealand have 'the right stuff'. The cool climate, long sunny days and long growing season yield wines of firm acid structure and great physiological ripeness. The nose is pungent and herbaceous, the texture is solidly fruity and the finish tart and clean.

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2004 Vigna La Rosa - 'La Palma' Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Pan Roasted Genuine Red Snapper Peeky-toe Crab Succotash, Fingerling Potatoes & Summer Truffle Broth from Upstream Restaurant
Producer: Vigna La Rosa Country: Chile Region: Rapel
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Cachapoal Valley
Predicate: La Palma
Vina La Rosa was founded in 1824 by Don Gregorio Ossa. Today, Ismael Ossa represents the sixth generation leading this 100% Estate Grown winery located in the Cachapoal Valley, one of Chile's best appellations. For such an inexpensive wine it has a lot of aggressive flavors and more than adequate depth for the interesting mix of flavors and textures in the dish. The wine delivered a classic Sauvignon Blanc pungency in the nose and bright acidity on the palate with citrus, apple and gooseberry fruit flavors.

2005 Falling Star - Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Shrimp Tortuga with a Grilled Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa from The Speedway Club
Producer: Falling Star Country: Argentina Region: Cuyo
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Grape Blend: Sauvignon Blanc + Semillon
Sauvignon Blanc with shellfish and/or vegetables is kind of a no-brainer for me, so the only question comes down to which one. Since Argentina is one of the most exciting wine regions, constantly evolving and defining its place in the wine world, I thought I'd see how they were doing with Sauvignon Blanc. Falling Star turns out to be a really fine effort and it's nice to see them experimenting with blending the softer and fruitier Semillon grape to polish off the rough edges of the tart Sauvignon Blanc as they do in Bordeaux. Classic gooseberry and citrus flavors are nicely matched with light peach and fig notes of Semillon. The finish is crisp without seeming tart. Really nice quality for a really low price.

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2005 House of Nobilo - Sauvignon Blanc
This is Aris' pairing for Mahi Mahi en Cartoccio from Mia Famiglia
Producer: House of Nobilo Country: New Zealand Region: Marlborough
Major Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
While Mahi Mahi is a rather delicate fish, in this recipe it is surrounded by strong flavors and rich textures. The green herb spices, garlic and cheesy polenta call for strong flavors and firm backbone in the wine, and what better for pairing than Nobilo's Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Bursting at the seams with passion fruit, lemon and gooseberry flavors supported by a brisk acidity, the wine blends with the dish's components creating a lovely harmony of new and exciting flavors while cleansing the palate to get it ready for another delicious serving. Each mouthful has a different combination of flavors and the wine responds with aplomb, creating another flavor experience.

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Torrontes


2004 La Puerta - Torrontes
This is Aris' pairing for Crab Cakes with Scallops from The Inn at Brevard
Producer: La Puerta Country: Argentina Region: La Rioja
Major Grape: Torrontes
Appellation: Famatina Valley
Wines made from the Torrontes grape are quickly becoming the signature white wine of Argentina. Lovely floral and ripe fruit aromas with mineral notes are a delight. A solid texture without being tart holds its own against the richness of the dish.

There is a spicy note to the fruit and minerals that echo those found in the nose. La Puerta Torrontes is an extremely versatile wine, pairing nicely with food and yet so easy to sip and enjoy on its own.


Trebbiano


2003 Custoza - Lugana
This is Aris' pairing for Chicken Florentine all’ Orange with Caprese Cucumber Salad from Villa Romana – Myrtle Beach
Producer: Custoza Country: Italy Region: Lombardy
Major Grape: Trebbiano
Appellation: Lugana
Italian wine with Italian food is usually safe, but why a wine from the lowly Trebbiano grape, one of the world's "Rodney Dangerfield" grapes that just "can't get no respect". Well, while it is one of the most widely planted grapes and usually does makes a bland wine, Trebbiano from Lugana is probably the best there is and shows the full potential of the grape.

Lovely floral and citrus flavors combine with mineral notes and a hint of almond to blend nicely with the dish while the crisp acidity cleanses the palate. This is an elegant dish needing an elegant wine. By the way, the lowly Trebbiano is called Ugni Blanc in France where it makes simple white wines but is also the main grape used to make the great Cognacs and Armagnacs.


Viognier


2001 Treana - Mer Soleil Vineyard White
This is Aris' pairing for Tamalas with Adobo Chicken from Salsa Mexican Caribbean Restaurant
Producer: Treana Country: USA State: CA Region: Monterey
Major Grape: Viognier
Grape Blend: 61% Viognier + 39% Marsanne
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Vineyard: Mer Soleil Vineyard
The Mer Soleil Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, where the grapes for Treana White grow, is a superb white wine microclimate. Cool winds off the bay serve to keep the vineyards temperate and yield a long, gentle growing season, resulting in wines of excellent balance, refreshing acidity and complex mineral flavors. The unique blend of the Rhone Valley grapes, Viognier and Marsanne, are perfectly suited to each other. Viognier brings floral notes and tropical fruits while Marsanne brings honey and minerals and solidity of structure. Together they deal with all aspects of the multitude of flavors this dish offers.

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2002 Pride Mountain - Viognier
This is Aris' pairing for The Flaky Apple Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce from 95 Cordova
Producer: Pride Mountain Country: USA State: CA Region: Sonoma
Major Grape: Viognier
Appellation: Sonoma
This Pride has to be the best Viognier I've had from California. A flower garden aroma coupled with ripe fruits reminiscent of citrus, pear and peach delight the nose and follow through on the palate which is solid and richly textured. The finish just keeps on going.

The tried and true rule for desserts is to pair it with a wine sweeter than the dessert. The plan here was to try pairing a dry wine with dessert, hoping the richness of its fruit would be enough to balance the sweetness of the dessert. Oh well, sometimes you can break the rules and sometimes they break you.

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2004 Laurent Miquel - 'Nord Sud' Viognier
This is Aris' pairing for Sweet Potato-Tomatilla Salad with Sautéed Shrimp and Squid and Amaretto Dressing from George's on Tybee
Producer: Laurent Miquel Country: France Region: Languedoc
Major Grape: Viognier
Appellation: Coteaux du Langudoc
Predicate: Nord Sud
The Miquel family has been producing wine in the Languedoc since 1789. The Viognier grapes for this lovely wine are planted with the optimum North-South orientation, meaning that the grapes are exposed to the gentle warmth of the morning and evening rays but protected from the burning effects of the midday sun. Oak plays a part in the fermentation and maturation of this wine, adding a nutty complexity to the ripe pear and apricot fruit. Crisp in texture and long in finish, it integrated with this complex dish at all level.

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2005 McManis - Viognier
This is Aris' pairing for Shrimp and Blue Crab Crepes from Chelsea's Wine Bar & Eatery
Producer: McManis Family Vineyards Country: USA State: CA Region: California
Major Grape: Viognier
We looked for a wine that was a rich array of fruit flavors yet firmly structured and without oak influences to match this elegant dish. Viognier, as made in California, yields just such a wine and McManis makes a surprisingly crisp version from the warm San Joaquin Valley. Honeysuckle and apricot with notes or pear and grapefruit blend so well with the delicate fish flavors while mineral notes and fresh acidity cleanse the palate. Another great thing about McManis wines is getting good quality at a fair price.

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2005 Smoking Loon - Viognier
This is Aris' pairing for Coriander Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Salad from Motor Supply Company Bistro
Producer: Don Sebastiani & Sons Country: USA State: CA Region: California
Major Grape: Viognier
Medium straw color with seductive floral and tropical fruit aromas. The palate is ripe with apricot, peach and citrus, while the honeyed finish includes a kiss of clove spice. There are no oak flavors to interfere with the highly focused fruit and floral elements. This dish has an elegance and simplicity to it but is not a simple dish but rather subtle and charming. The wine is similar and works well.

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