Finding the perfect match
Recently, I was surfing the Internet looking for wine article ideas when I stumbled across the Kendall Jackson Web site (www.kj.com). During my digging on the site, I found some outstanding ideas for pairing wine and food. In fact, it even has a matrix showing which food goes best with which wine. Given I was using their Web site, I thought it only fair to use their wine. Over the next week, I drank a lot of Kendall Jackson wine using this simple but effective wine pairing guide.
2007 Kendall Jackson Syrah ($9) paired with teriyaki salmon
The KJ Syrah matches very well with teriyaki salmon. The silky wine works well with heavier fish as it does not overpower the meal. The berry filled jam scents and flavors are matched to an earthy finish allowing it to work well with the teriyaki sauce. It is a great wine to keep in the back of your mind when you are looking for something other than white wine to go with fish.
2006 Kendall Jackson Merlot ($9) paired with grilled chicken
This is a wine that could stand up to most grilled meats. It is subtle and smooth, allowing it to work with white meats but also has some tannins, giving it that chewy feel, allowing it to fit nicely with red meats. A very nice berry-filled wine with hints of chocolate and oak. Grilled chicken and merlot- a perfect match.
2006 Kendall Jackson Meritage ($10) paired with sausage pizza
The meritage can be a tricky wine to match as it is really a combination of other grapes. Pairing it with a sausage pizza is a smart idea as it enhances the mixture of tastes in every bite. The KJ Meritage has lots of vanilla and black licorice scents and has plenty of tannins that stand up to mild or spicy sausage. This is a great pairing that turns a simple pizza into a perfect Friday night dinner.
2006 Kendall Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon ($9) paired with grilled ribeye
Cabs and steaks, what more could you ask for? The KJ Cabernet Sauvignon has plenty of depth to go with any steak. The tannins are big, bold and consistent from start to finish. The oak and vanilla scents are complemented by blackberries making for a complex wine that lingers throughout the entire meal.
The best part about this site is that some of the dishes have hyperlinks which take you to recipes for that type of dish. It really is a fabulous way to make sure you pair your food and wine perfectly. This is one site I will use over and over again.
Kendall Jackson has done a great job of taking everyday wine to another level, and truly understands the concept of using wine to enhance a dining experience. At $9-$10 a bottle it is a fabulous yet reasonably priced wine.
On a separate note, next weekend St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church invites everyone to enjoy its 31st annual Contra Costa Greek Food and Wine Festival. It will begin at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, and continue from noon-11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, at 1955 Kirker Pass Road in Concord. This is a great way to try authentic Greek food and pastries, enjoy Greek music and dancing, and taste wines that may be new to you. The organizers urge everyone to "Come be Greek for a day!" Until next time, Opa!
Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy lives in Danville and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org