Like wine, some complex dishes just seem impossible to enjoy with anything but themselves. Loners perhaps, or just too stubborn to sign up for that dating app. ;) Today, I have 4 summer head-scratchers, and exactly how I match-made each one. These pairings are sure to result in a couple Whoahhhs at your next dinner party. In order of potential plate-drop:

-          Beet Salad and Aged Riesling: When funky meets aromatic. You’ll likely have a goat-cheese component here, so the acidity in a German Riesling will cut right through. Also, the beets (and maybe some arugula) will sing with the wine’s earthy elements after a few years in the bottle. If you have a golden beet love affair, remember that they are a bit more neutral, so stick with a Riesling with age that won’t overwhelm with shocking fruit and florality.


-          Tuna Tartare and New Zealand Sauv Blanc: I honestly thought this would be too much, but the tropical flavors brought out the sesame in the dressing. The pair also had a matching trace of jalapeño that heightened the spice. As one of many with “hot sauce in my bag swag,” this is an intense, but very much hell yes pairing.


-          Pulled Pork Tacos and Sangiovese: To be clear, I am NOT talking about Brunello, or even most Chianti. I’m talking about that Rosso that every blind taster at the study group calls a Pinot Noir. The oak is pretty much non-existent, but we’re still working with a medium body for that obvious Chipotle sauce and slow cookin’. Can I get some slaw though? Don’t get syrupy with me, we need to balance it out with a little lime sauce, cilantro and vinegar. THANKS!


-          Carrot Cake and Amontillado Sherry: Those little nuts on the frosting were not an accident, sweet and salty PLUS creamy and crunchy… It just doesn’t get any better, and I don’t even like sweets. Carrot cake cookers (bakers, whatever) please go easy on the sugar and let the nut do the crunch… OOoo salty, and that’s how it should be, so stick with dry sherry or dry-ish Madeira on this one. ;)