Sunday, May 9, 2021

Food and Wine Pairings for Different Occasions and Moods

Photo courtesy of Beth Studenberg/The Licensing Project.com

In partnership with our friends at Dry Farm Wines

The right wine can make a meal more delicious. The fruitiness, acidity, minerality, or earthiness
in a wine can play off of or accentuate your food, be it rich and creamy Camembert or spicy Thai larb. There are
certain wines that feel especially suited to particular occasions—making a night in seem cozier or a holiday more
festive. But selecting your bottle certainly does not need to be an exacting affair, our friends at Dry Farm Wines say.

Dry Farm Wines has a radically transparent model that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the wine industry. It sources
natural wines from small and independent vintners all over the world. Then it has everything tested at independent
labs to ensure everything is up to its standards. Every bottle you get from Dry Farm Wines has complete workup of
information available online that includes the region and grape varietal along with ABV (alcohol by volume) and residual sugar
levels (what’s left after fermentation). The wines have alcohol levels below that of conventional wines and
have sugar levels so low (less than one gram per liter, for example) that they’re essentially considered sugar-free.
(According to the FDA, anything with less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving is sugar-free. There are at least four
servings in a standard liter bottle of wine.) While the folks at Dry Farm are exquisite curators of wine, perhaps
the thing they’re best at is making it all feel fun and approachable. We gave them a few different scenarios for
wine and food pairings—and they nailed every mood.

A CELEBRATION

What to Look For:

  1. Bubbles—pét-nats if you can find them.

  2. Unfiltered and skin-contact wines for a dynamic full expression of
    the grape.

  3. Well-balanced wines are versatile for food pairings.

Dry Farm Wines Pick:

NV Denny Bini Spuma Emilia Frizzante

It’s a rustic Italian wine that ticks a lot of celebratory boxes. The pop of opening a sparkling wine sets
the tone for the evening. This one is a pét-nat, so it has a light, delicate bubble from natural
fermentation. You get a lot of flavor because it’s a skin-contact wine and unfiltered (which also makes it
look a bit cloudy). It essentially contains the fullest expression of the grape—stems, skin, seeds, yeast,
and all. The grape is Lambrusco di Sorbara, though Spuma is certainly less sweet than a typical
Lambrusco wine. It’s incredibly well-balanced, so foodwise, it goes with almost anything. It’s also
enjoyable on its own, sans food.


  1. Fuso Spuma! Frizzante

To Complete the Mood


  1. Zalto Champagne Glass

    Zalto
    Champagne Glass
    goop, $62

    Cheers, santé, salud!

    SHOP NOW


  2. La DoubleJ Dress

    La DoubleJ
    Dress
    goop, $930

    Any excuse to dress up.

    SHOP NOW


  3. Estelle Cake Stand

    Estelle
    Cake Stand
    goop, $225

    For a festive finish.

    SHOP NOW

A PICNIC

What to Look For:

  1. Wines with lower sugar and lower ABV are a better choice for daytime
    drinking.

  2. Whites grown in warmer climates that won’t suffer at room
    temperature.

  3. Something bright with acidity to balance your menu—our picnic basket
    always has some rich elements like nuts, cheese, charcuterie, or hummus.

Dry Farm Wines Pick:

2020 Craig and Carla Hawkins Love Is More Than a Feeling White

This South African wine—made from Chenin Blanc grapes—is true to its warm coastal growing climate. It’s
got some minerality, and surprisingly, it still tastes nice at room temperature, once the chill has worn
off. When it’s super chilled, those mineral notes are right up front, but as it mellows to room temperature,
you’ll get more subtle fruity notes. So no need to stress over the cooler and ice. All Dry Farm Wines skew
lower in alcohol, but this is one of the lowest at 11.56% ABV, making it ideal for daytime drinking. It’s
not overly acidic, but it can cut through some rich foods you might have packed for your picnic.


  1. More Than a Feeling

To Complete the Mood


  1. Medina Mercantile Basket

    Medina Mercantile
    Basket
    goop, $60

    A very chic haul.

    SHOP NOW


  2. Onyx Tiffin

    Onyx
    Tiffin
    goop, $32

    Stacks of snacks.

    SHOP NOW


  3. Fashionit Speakers

    Fashionit
    Speakers
    goop, $95

    Bring the ambience with you.

    SHOP NOW

A NIGHT IN

What to Look For:

  1. Wood-barrel-aged wines have a more luscious mouthfeel that will linger on your palate.

  2. Bold-flavored wines for pairing with bold foods.

  3. Check the region and winemaking style—these can result in very
    different flavor profiles, even from the same grape.

Dry Farm Wines Pick:

2018 Domaine Amirault La Ferme des Fontaines Chenin Blanc

Just because you’re staying in and having dinner in sweatpants doesn’t mean you can’t have great wine. This
Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley is bold, rich, and complex—lots going on here. While it’s made from the
same grape varietal as the picnic wine above, this Chenin Blanc is wildly different because it’s from a
cooler climate, so it drinks best chilled. It has a slightly higher alcohol content than the picnic wine.
And it’s aged in neutral oak barrels, which doesn’t impart flavor, but the porous wood allows for
oxidization, resulting in an incredibly luscious palate-coating effect. This wine can stand up to bold
flavors, so don’t be shy with your menu.


  1. La Ferme des Fontaines Chenin Blanc

To Complete the Mood


  1. La DoubleJ Placemats

    La DoubleJ
    Placemats
    goop, $80

    An easy way to dress up your table.

    SHOP NOW


  2. Ulla Johnson Marta Cardigan

    Ulla Johnson
    Cardigan
    goop, $445

    In a word: cozy.

    SHOP NOW


  3. WS Game Company Scrabble

    WS Game Company
    Scrabble
    goop, $200

    Always chasing that triple word score.

    SHOP NOW

A BACKYARD BBQ

What to Look For:

  1. Approachable wines with an interesting story will please
    novice and expert wine drinkers alike.

  2. Old-vine wines: Small but mighty crops produce wines with intense
    flavor.

  3. Earthy, aged reds—the depth of flavor works well with anything
    grilled.

Dry Farm Wines Pick:

2017 Domaine Jourdan Une Passion de Nature

When you’re hosting a BBQ, your guests’ level of wine knowledge will likely vary. Looking for something
approachable enough for a wine novice and interesting enough for your experts? This Cab Franc fits the bill.
It’s very earthy, with some acid, made from old-vine grapes, meaning the vines have been harvested for
upwards of twenty years. Old vines tend to produce fewer grapes, but those grapes are packed with flavor.
This wine is also aged in barrels, then bottled and aged some more, so both the color and flavor have had a
chance to develop and intensify over time. It’s ideal for anything charred coming off the grill—rib eye
steaks, merguez sausages, shishito peppers, or za’atar flatbread.


  1. Une Passion de Nature Cabernet Franc

To Complete the Mood


  1. Stinson Studios Bowl

    Stinson Studios
    Bowl
    goop, $190

    The prettiest everyday salad bowl.

    SHOP NOW


  2. Fique + Clay  Placemat

    Fique + Clay
    Placemat
    goop, $24

    For a look that’s both earthy
    and put-together.

    SHOP NOW


  3. Estelle Glasses

    Estelle
    Glasses
    goop, $160

    We like tumblers for a more
    laid-back vibe.

    SHOP NOW

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