It’s the day before your housewarming party, or family visiting before the holidays. You have meticulously cleaned the house, arranged decorations, and planned the menu, but you’re missing one thing: wine to pair with your 3-course dinner. White? Red? Dry? Sweet? What should you serve with fish, or maybe red meat? Luckily, pairing wine with food is a skill some professionals have tailored through decades of thoughtfully tasting thousands of wines and a wide variety of food types and styles, and they would love nothing more than to share that knowledge with you in an easy-to-understand and enjoyable format. At these local wineries, you will learn the basics of why certain wine varietals pair with particular foods, as well as the individual flavor profile that makes them a good match for the food at hand. As is key to curating any talent, practice makes perfect, so here at Priority Wine Pass, we encourage a healthy dose of wine to cure your party-planning blues.
Benessere Winery (St. Helena): Known for creating their Italian style wines and subsequently offering a taste of the gracious Italian lifestyle, Benessere offers a wine and chocolate pairing that will woo the most discerning palette. If you’re new to pairing wine with food there is no better place to start than the romantic and classic pairing of chocolate and wine.
Clos Pegase (Calistoga): What better way to understand the deep flavors of wine than to pair it with a food that has been prepared and perfected over centuries like. Like wine, cheese can be aged, or eaten immediately, and similarly, will develop a more complex flavor profile over time. Pairing wine with cheese should be your second venture into building your wine and food knowledge from the ground up. Visit Clos Pegase for a leisurely tour of their vineyards, and finish the afternoon in their candle-lit caves, where the dampness of the room melds perfectly with well-ripened cheese and wine. .
Portalupi Winery (Healdsburg Square): If you’re out for an impromptu stroll in Healdsburg Square, stop by Portalupi, where you can enjoy wines paired with local cheeses and hand-cured salumi. You might be shocked when Cheetos make an appearance, but you’ll be delighted that even the most pedestrian foods can be paired with a delicious wine.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards (Santa Rosa): St. Francis Winery works with local Chef Trevor Eliason to expertly pair a selection of artisan wines with five small bites. The experience is guided by a knowledgeable wine expert, who will point out the nuanced flavors and approach to pairing while you enjoy a beautifully crafted tasting experience.