5 essential food pairings for every kind of wine

Dec 8 2020, 6:46 pm

Another holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to revel in curating special meals for loved ones at home — or virtually — with perfect wine and food pairings that bring out the best in each other.

Gray Monk has a rich history as a pioneer of BC’s wine industry and as one of our province’s very first estate wineries. Gray Monk has been making delectable, local wines for nearly 40 years, of which each varietal can be coupled in harmony with an array of nibbles, main courses, and desserts.

Regardless of what the holidays look like this year, we all deserve those special moments to relish in our favourite vinos and foods — and that magical thing that happens when they work in tandem together.

Pinot Gris

Gray Monk Pinot Gris/Allison Kuhl

Wine profile: The grapes used to make this delicious Pinot Gris have probably received more physical contact than you in 2020. Given 12 hours of skin contact for added texture and mouthfeel, the grapes in this approachable wine taste of citrus, apple, and tropical fruit with hints of floral and spice.

Food pairing: This wine is one you’ll want to savour, which makes it perfect for pre-dinner sips and snacks. Try pairing it with crab cakes, pan-fried scallops, or shrimp skewers. If you’re looking for more of a sip-and-dip, opt for a black bean dip with unsalted tortilla chips, salmon and cream cheese, or hummus with pita chips for a match made in heaven.

Unwooded Chardonnay

Gray Monk Unwooded Chardonnay/Mackenzie Dempsey

Wine profile: An Okanagan Valley gem, the grapes in this Unwooded Chardonnay were gently pressed, fermented, and aged in stainless steel to enhance its fruit-forward personality. Here, you’ll find a smooth and refreshing wine that’s brimming with apple, honeydew melon, and pear flavours with citrusy and green apple notes.

Food pairing: If you have lemon chicken, creamy pasta and potato salads, or baked ham on your holiday menu then be sure to have a bottle (or three) of this on the table. It also makes for an excellent aperitif for post-dinner sipping or paired with apple pie for dessert.

Red Blend (Monk’s Blend)

Gray Monk Monk’s Blend/Allison Kuhl

Wine profile: The first vintage of the Monk’s Blend does not disappoint. For one, its rich, purply hue gives us all the winter vibes and makes us want to curl up in front of the fireplace. Once it hits your palate, the medium-bodied red gives way to a bouquet of blue plum, blueberry, black cherry, cassis, and pomegranate with delicate notes of oak and spice.

Food pairing: What goes with sweet, spice, and everything nice, you ask? Think appetizers featuring aged cheeses, like gouda or cheddar, or pair with a meaty main course of steak, marinated lamb, beef stew, or shepherd’s pie. The fruit-forward wine will complement the richer flavours of the food, without being subdued.

Pinot Noir

Gray Monk Pinot Noir/Allison Kuhl

Wine profile: A ruby red wine that looks as elegant as it tastes. On the tastebuds, you’ll discover juicy and earthy flavours of red cherry and pomegranate with hints of oak, spice, and vanilla. It’s on the acidic side, but in a food-friendly way and with a touch of spice that lingers nicely.

Food pairing: Pizza and pasta lovers, this wine is our holiday gift to you. Save this bottle for a night when you’re cooking up (or ordering in) a red saucy pizza, mushroom lasagna, or roasted tomato and eggplant ragu over pasta. That said, this Pinot Noir will pair equally well with traditional holiday offerings like turkey dinner with a side of wild mushroom stuffing and cranberries.

Odyssey White Brut

Gray Monk Odyssey White Brut/Sharla Pike

Wine profile: The Odyssey White Brut is a perfect marriage of flavours that will have you saying, “bring on the bubbly!” Light-bodied and refreshing, this sparkling wine has an expanding creamy mousse and invigorating flavours of citrus and green apple.

Food pairing: Pop one of these bottles for any celebration or occasion — like say, getting through the workweek. If you’re after an elevated night in, you can never go wrong with bubbly and fried chicken. You’ll also impress guests (roommates and live-in partners count) with a complementary spread of gruyere, Swiss, and Emmental cheese with toasted baguette and light rye bread.

You can pick up a bottle of Gray Monk’s award-winning wines at Gray Monk Estate Winery, your local BC Liquor Stores (BCL), and private liquor stores throughout BC or get free shipping on any online orders, but only for a limited time.

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