Pairing wine with the food you gave up for lent.
Lent traditionally lasts forty days. Modeled after Christ's forty day fast in the desert, it ends on Good Friday. Lent and fasting go hand in hand for many, who abstain from certain indulgent foods during this time. When the lenten fast ends, millions of people throughout the world will celebrate the return of some of their favorite foods to their diet! Since celebrations deserve wine, I thought it timely to produce a guide to pairing wine with the 5 top Lenten food sacrifices.
CHOCOLATE: This is both the world’s most popular dessert and most common food to give up during Lent, so it’s no wonder grocer’s shelves are brimming with chocolate bunnies poised to jump into shopping carts of the masses who have abstained from its decadence. Your chocolate reunion deserves a perfectly paired glass of wine. If your preference is Milk Chocolate, look for a Riesling or our newly released Frontenac Gris*. If you prefer Dark Chocolate, try a Pinot Noir or an oaked Minnesota Marquette*.
RED MEAT: The second most popular Lenten food sacrifice is red meat, so after 40 days of fish and chicken, you’ll want to enjoy that juicy steak with a nice glass of Cabernet*, Petite Sirah* or Carlos Creek Winery’s Trinity*. Look for a wine with moderate to high tannins which give the wine a plush feel in your mouth and help to neutralize fat in the meat.
BREAD: Definitely my weakness! When Marie Antoinette said, “Let Them Eat Bread” people like me did not consider this a punishment. I’ll take bread over cake any day! So for those bread lovers who gave up their favorite treat for lent, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a rather nice menu of bread and wine choices to fill your Easter weekend bread binge. You’ll want to stock up on Rose’ wines (like our Ruby Minnescato*) to pair with whole grain breads, Cabernet* or a dry red Minnesota Frontenac* wine are great options with French bread (slathered with butter) and you’ll want something lightly sweet, like a Riesling, a Minnesota Brianna or Frontenac Blanc* to serve with sweet breads, like Hot Cross Buns or Hawaiian bread.
CHIPS: If you managed to go without these salty indulgences for forty days, you’ll be happy to learn they are surprisingly easy to pair with wine! My favorite pairing for chips is a white, lightly sweet sparkling wine. Moscatos or our CCW Minnescato* are perfect. Minnesota white wines, with their amazing aromatics and crisp finish, can't be beat as a pairing with salty chips.
CHEESE: The fifth most likely food to give up is cheese. Cheese and wine are lovely partners and I can’t imagine the one without the other, especially if I had gone without either for 40 days! There are so many great ways to pair cheese and wine, so I’ll just mention a few of my favorites here.
Creamy, semi-soft cheeses, love creamy wines, like Chardonnay*, or other oaked whites like Prairie Star.
Firm cheeses such as Cheddar, pair best with high tannin wines like Cabernet*, Merlot*, and Zinfandel*. Blends of these three wine grapes, such as in our Trinity Wine, are also a great pairing for firm cheese.
Goat Cheese and the citrus flavors of wines such as Petite Ami* or Sauvignon Blanc work wonderfully together.
Blue Veined Cheeses and Tawny Port* are a classic pairing
GOOD FRIDAY WINE SPECIAL - 40% OFF! Celebrate the return of your favorite foods with the perfect glass of wine. To help your celebration, Carlos Creek is offering a one day only, Good Friday Special of 40% off any one bottle of wine. This special is valid for March 30 at the winery only.
* These wine varieties are available at Carlos Creek Winery.