Pam’s Point – You Don’t Have to Listen

5 pairings to contrast textures and flavor

Just as chefs like to contrast and compliment flavors and textures, the secret to finding your next great match is to contrast and compliment the flavors and textures of the food with the flavors and textures of the wine. So the next time you have a dinner party, experiment and liven up the party by having some fun with interesting combinations, flavors and textures.


Try an off-dry Chenin Blanc with rutabagas. The delicate sweetness of the rutabagas enhances the implied sweetness of the wine and the light freshness of the vegetable brings out the minerality while it heightens the acidity of the Chenin Blanc.

rutabaga portland chitchatchew

Another great pairing is Marsanne with roasted root vegetables. The sweetness of the roasted root vegetables bring out the honey characteristics of the Marsanne.

roasted root vegetables portland pairing chitchatchew

If you prefer red wines, try a Torrontes with a plum sauce. The sweet and tart flavors of the sauce enhance the perceived sweetness of the wine while the acidity cuts through the richness of the sauce.

plum sauce portland chitchatchew

Do you love morels? Then try Mouvedre, another flavorful and fun pairing, which will become your new fast and furious favorite—the sweet earthy flavors of the morel mushrooms play up the earthiness of the wine while the nuttiness enhances the stone, spice and black pepper profile of the red wine.

morels portland chitchatchew

Do you love eggplant? Match it up with Carmenère. This is a great pairing as the spicy, smoky essence of the wine and the earthiness of the vegetable brings out the black tea leaf and herbal characteristics of the Carmenere.

Eggplant portland chitchatchew

Happy pairing!

Pamela Heiligenthal

Pamela Heiligenthal is the co-founder and editor of and the author of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy.

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