What Is Wine Pairing?
As old as civilization itself, wine has been a staple to the diets of many cultures. In some parts of the world, it was even considered safer to drink than the water. In modern times, we tend to focus on the actual experience of dining and drinking wine itself. This experience can be amplified by finding a delicious wine that pairs well with the flavor profile of the foods served.
At its core, wine functions best as a palate cleanser. This means that pairing wines with certain foods will make eating the food itself a more worthwhile experience. But how do you know what wine pairs well with what food? And how can someone pair wines with food when they can’t even tell the difference in wine varieties? These five tips will have you pairing food and wines like a sommelier in no time!
You may not be entirely familiar with the flavor profiles for different wines. Never to fear: the flavor profiles for food are already familiar to most food enthusiasts. Though there may be as many as twenty different kinds of tastes on the tongue, they can be boiled down to a list of six. These are the flavors fatty, salty, acidic, sweet, bitter, and spicy. When it comes to pairing, your first step is to decide which flavor is most prominent in the dish you’re serving. For example, bacon would chiefly have a salty taste, whereas bread pudding would be sweet.
Similarities Shine, Opposites Attract
Where wine pairings shine is in the balance of flavors between the wine and food. A congruence pairing brings together a wine and food with similar flavors, creating balance. On the contrary, a complementary pairing brings together a food and wine with flavors that contradict each other. Once you’ve determined the primary flavor of the food and what kind of pairing you’re looking for, it’s time to find wine with the right flavor profile.
The flavor profiles for different varieties of wine are simple to understand. This is because wine only has three types: bitter, acidic and sweet. Most red wines have a bitter flavor profile. Next, sparkling, white, and rosé wines all have a pronounced acidic flavor profile. Finally, sweet wines obviously have large notes of sweetness in their flavor profile.
For the pairing beginner, there are a couple of staple rules that can help your wine pairing. First, one should always make sure the wine is more acidic than the food. When you don’t know what goes well with a flavor of food, you can also base it on regional pairing. For example, Italian food can go well with an Italian wine like Bianco or Rosso. Also, red wines pair best with bold meats like steak. In contrast, white wines pair well with light meats like chicken or fish.
Now that you understand the basics of wine and food flavors, how does you choose the right wine with the right food? It all goes back to congruent or complementary pairings. For example, if trying a complementary pairing, chicken pairs well with many different kinds of wine. Although it pairs well with wines like rosé, the best one to choose is a light white wine. The high acidity of the wine creates a complementary pairing with the chicken by cleansing the palate. On the other hand, a congruent pairing would be like pairing a chardonnay with a salad with vinaigrette dressing. Both of these flavors have high acidity, which similarly complement each other.
Ready to create your own pairings? Market Table stocks a wide variety of wines — you’re sure to find one suited for any meal you put on your table. Our Girl’s Night Out (Thursday, September 20th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM) gives you the perfect chance to test your pairing skills. We’ll taste five of our fine new wines and you’ll also get to enjoy two full glasses of the wine of your choosing. Plus, we’ll serve up an array of delicious appetizers. Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased here. Any time you need a little help with wine pairing, we’re always here with palates that can help you find the right wine to pair with your guests’ heaping plates.
Text by Jonathon Page
Fall’s almost here! And that means one thing: Pumpkin Spice. But, of course, pumpkin spice isn’t the only flavor coming back this fall. We’ve compiled a list of fall 2018 flavor trends sure to line the shelves this season.
Maple flavoring appeared in some fall beverages and sweets over the last few years. However, we expect the flavor to reach a new peak this season. While maple will continue to sweeten warm drinks, we also expect it to pair with adult beverages like bourbon and whiskey. The richness of the maple pulls out the deep flavors gained from the barrels during the distilling process. Additionally, the sweetness of maple softens the bite of the alcohol, making it an ideal addition to fall and winter cocktails.
Savory: Brown Butter
Brown butter brings a savory twist to any dish that calls for butter. Simply heat regular butter just past its melting point. This turns the butter a brown, toasted color. Additionally, the heating process releases a nutty flavor you won’t get from regular butter. Brown butter pairs especially well with dishes already containing pecans and hazelnuts, like various breads or baked goods.
We expect to see a rise in the use of the orange’s flavor this fall. Orange can be used in so many different ways. This makes it a very versatile flavor, with uses from baked goods to beverages to savory pasta dishes. Orange pairs especially well with cinnamon and other spices making it a great addition to spicy dishes that will keep you warm this fall. Finally, orange will be an increasingly popular flavor for fall beers, cocktails and teas.
There’s no doubt that Pumpkin Spice’s reign will continue. Still, keep an eye out for these fall flavors this season. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add them to your own dishes!
Text by Amy Haupt
Do you find yourself struggling to find a recipe at the last minute? Never seem to have what you need from the grocery store? Have no fear! Creating a weekly meal plan can make after-school evenings run much more smoothly!
Choose the Meals Your Family Loves
Start by making a list of all the meals and snacks your family likes to eat on a regular basis. Pro-tip: get some sticky tabs or magnets and write the name of each meal on a tab. Place them all in a notebook or on your refrigerator, spread out so that they’re easily accounted for. These meals will be the building blocks of a weekly meal plan for your family.
Chart It Up
If you went with sticky tabs, create a chart with a column for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Add rows for each day of the week. This layout allows you to easily account for each meal and snack you’ll be responsible for throughout the week. Although there are often occasions where you’ll go out to eat, it’s always better to have a plan that you stray from than to have no plan at all.
Organize the Days
Now, decide which meals should fall into which slot. When this process is completed, you should have a planned dish for every meal and snack throughout the week. When you get home from work, it’ll be so easy to just check the meal chart and start cooking. You also won’t have to worry about changing the meal halfway through preparation, as your family can see the meal plan. You can even collaborate on the plan before the week begins to avoid any arguments. As a bonus, this is an excellent way to teach the kids about balance and nutrition!
Check the Diet
Ever wondered if you’ve been giving your kids enough nutrients? This meal planning system makes it easy to keep your family’s diet (or, more often, diets) in check. You can easily outline and implement your family’s dietary needs with a structured meal plan. Also, seeing the meal plan spread out before you will make it easy to find places where leafy greens can be best disguised.
Shop and Prep
No more opening the fridge on a Wednesday night to find an empty milk carton! When you know what dishes you’ll be preparing a week ahead, you can easily buy everything you need from the grocery store in one go. Go through your meal chart and make a grocery list of all the items you’ll need for the week. After purchasing them, you can even prep for the meals ahead of time. Maybe a lot of your meals require chopped veggies or peeled fruit. Maybe you have to soak some lentils for another dish. Finishing the prep work for multiple meals once or twice a week is a huge time saver.
Of course, not everyone has time to meal prep or plan. That’s where Market Table comes in! Our freezer meals and prepared dishes offer options for the whole family — just pop them in the oven and have a healthy, delicious meal in no time. Stumped when it comes to lunch? We’ve got you covered there, too: you can pre-order and pick up our Light Lunchboxes, saving you time and sanity.
The days of packing peanut butter sandwiches, apples, and Capri Suns are over. Nowadays, it feels like every member of the fam wants something new and different from those old average lunches. Being creative can be easy — even when you’re packing lunches for the entire family. Here are five fabulous ideas for lunch-spiration.
Salads are a great option for take-away lunches. They aren’t prone to spoil, they don’t have to be microwaved, and they’re healthy more often than they aren’t. Even if your family is suspicious of salads, they’ll love this Edamame Power Salad. This recipe’s packed with super-healthy edamame and chickpeas — and it’s both gluten-free and vegan. The avocado lime dressing gives it a tangy twist. It’s so good the kids won’t even realize they’re eating a salad!
Pasta’s another dish that doesn’t necessarily have to be microwaved. Kids love pasta, so it’s an avenue to ease them into trying new ingredients. For example, this Sesame Ginger Soba Noodle Salad is packed with roasted veggies like bell peppers and asparagus. The zesty dressing pairs great with most vegetables, making this a catch-all option for what’s leftover in your fridge at the end of the week.
Of course, sandwiches are a classic lunch box option. They don’t have to be boring, however. If your family’s tired of peanut butter and jelly, try this Chicken, Sprouts, and Provolone Sandwich. It’s served on a sesame bagel that gets toasted in the oven. The crunch of the bean sprouts and the bagel pairs perfectly with soft chicken and melted provolone cheese. If your kids aren’t quite adventurous eaters yet, remember that cookie cutters can make any sandwich exciting! Our kiddos love these Hungry Hippos.
Sick of sandwiches? Try a wrap! With the right preparations, wraps are quick and easy. We love a Beef Shawarma Wrap. This wrap uses pita bread or flatbread and contains ingredients like beef, tahini, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and other sauces and spices. It’s the burrito’s delicious middle-eastern cousin. Plus, it’s a great source of protein and fiber.
If you’re feeling especially dedicated, try making bowls. Bowls offer endless combinations, which means endless possibilities for delicious lunches. Watching your weight? Try these clean eating bowls. Looking for something delicious, family-friendly, and moderately healthy? Try this Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl (pro-tip: use brown rice for added fiber). Packed with protein, you can add a variety of vegetables depending on your preference. The sweet teriyaki sauce is sure to make this bowl a hit for your whole family.
Of course, everyone runs out of ideas from time to time. Or, you just might not have time to make lunchboxes every day. Why not try our Light Lunchboxes and let us do the work for you? You can pre-order lunches by Wednesday and pick them up on Sunday, or just come by and see what’s in the case! Follow us on Facebook to see what meals we’re packing for lunch each week.
Text by Martha Kendall Custard
Summer coming to an end. That means it’ll soon be time to send the kids back to school. Celebrate the end of summer with a neighborhood back-to-school party and showcase these five recipes that every kid — and parent! — is sure to enjoy.
Mini Corn Dog Muffins
Who needs those frozen corn dogs from the store when you can make these delicious corn dog muffins at home? This easy and homemade alternative recipe for regular corn dogs makes for a great snack any day.
Pencil push up pops from http://www.bakerella.com/pencil-pushers/
These school-themed dessert treats are sure to be a hit for guests of all ages. Using cake push pop containers, you can create your own tasty pencil-shaped cake pops. These treats make for a cute and delicious decoration for the party.
Stuffed pizza cupcakes from http://www.pennywisecook.com/stuffed-pizza-cupcakes/
Stuffed Pizza Cupcakes
Pizza is an all-time for most people. These stuffed pizza cupcakes are guaranteed to be the life of your back-to-school party. Made with pizza dough, sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings, everyone is bound to love these.
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
These fluffy ham and cheese pinwheels make for a great party snack and the perfect lunch to pack for the first day of school. With a sauce made of mustard, mayo and horseradish, these pinwheels will become a classic dinner favorite for the whole family.
Decorated cookie pop from http://www.the36thavenue.com/back-to-school-apple-pops/
Oreo Cookie Apple Pops
The whole neighborhood will be raving about these tasty treats made from double-stuffed Oreos, candy melts and fondant. These Oreo pops make a great treat for the party and for a sweet snack in the lunchbox.
With these tasty recipes, there’s no need for the end of summer to be a time of mourning for the kids. Your back-to-school party will have the whole neighborhood excited for school to start.
Tired of rotating the same dishes over and over again for dinner each week? Try out one, or all, of these five recipes. They’re sure to spice up dinner time for the summer.
Lemon Caper Chicken
This tasty recipe consists of zesty lemon, an array of spices and capers that all work together to flavor the chicken breasts. With a prep time of 15 minutes and only nine minutes to cook, this dinner for three will be ready in no time.
Mango-BBQ fish tacos from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/mango-barbecue-fish-tacos/
Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos
Looking for a recipe that adds some sweetness to your summer? This fish taco recipe combines the flavors of fruit and barbecue sauce to create a sweet and savory fish taco dinner for four.
Fresh Herb Tuna Salad
Summer means days full of activities and adventures. With this quick and easy recipe, dinner for two will be ready in about 15 minutes. With herbs and curry powder, your tuna salad is sure to have that summer kick it needs.
Chicken Cobb Salad
From start to finish, this easy and healthy recipe only takes 30 minutes. With a rotisserie chicken, your salad is sure to be just as delicious and easy as it would be if you were dining out.
Ham florentine soup from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pork/ham-florentine-soup/
Ham Florentine Soup
Are you a lover of greens in your dinner? This healthy soup combines your favorite greens along with ham and other veggies to give you a creamy and delicious soup that the whole family’s sure to love.
Next time you’re in a hurry or are looking for a quick dinner after a long day, give one of these dishes a try. Don’t feel like cooking? Let Market Table do the cooking for you! Stop by for our fully prepared meals, like our fresh Sesame Chicken Salad or our low-carb, family-friendly Chicken Enchilada Casserole. They’re sure to give your summer the kick of flavor it needs.