Expert wine and beer picks for every situation from a saucy new book.
Something you already know: seafood and white wine were made for each other. Something you don’t know: when social media stalking your new crush, Chablis will save you from falling too deep in an Internet wormhole. Such hilarious scenarios are the basis of a new book by Diane McMartin, a Washington, D.C.-based certified sommelier. In This Calls for a Drink: The Best Wines & Beers to Pair With Every Situation, Diane puts a wise-cracking, yet informative spin on the old rules of wine and beer pairing. We’ve bookmarked a few sticky situations that go splendidly with our glassware, so raise a glass and get sipping!
1. Hosting dinner for your significant other’s parents:
Ricci Curbastro Franciacorta Brut + fizz champagne flute. “Sparkling wine can be easily enjoyed before or after a meal, and this Brut is the less expected, Italian answer to Champagne. If you buy wine from a local wine shop, look for an obscure variety and ask the salesperson all about it. The more anecdotes you have to share during awkward moments throughout the night, the better the meal will be for everyone. A few sips of your left-of-center bubbly and everyone will be leaning allll the way back and really getting to know each other,” says Diane.
2. Social media stalking your new squeeze:
Domaine Seguinot Bordet Chablis + christian wine glass. “The acidity in Chablis is often described with words like bracing and electric. So what better way to jolt you out of the internet wormhole you’ve gone down? If you think you like Chardonnay , you need to try Chablis (and real Chablis that says it’s from France on the bottle, not the scary stuff in the jug on the bottom shelf of the grocery store). It’s full-bodied with citrus flavors that will race across your tongue in a pleasing, refreshing way.”
3. Stuck inside with snacks because of severe storms:
Kentucky bourbon barrel stout + tall beer glass + stainless steel snack bowl with BBQ chips. “Barbecue and stout may seem like an odd combination, but the roasty bass notes of the stout and the charmingly fake smoke flavor in the chips marry the two together. The fact that stouts have a satisfying creaminess to them provides a nice counterpoint to the chips’ crunch and slight tang.”
4. Finding a grey hair:
Off-dry Riesling + rona wine glass. “Gray hair on your head is one thing. You can dye it, or you can let the streaks grow in and enjoy looking like an eccentric middle-school art teacher. But a weird, wiry gray hair that won’t play nicely with the rest of your brows (why?!) or worse, one in the, er, bathing suit area? That calls for a drink, or possibly something even stronger! Attempt to embrace being older with a distinguished off-dry German Riesling. Rieslings wear their grays with élan and are excellent with pork sausages. So open a bottle, pluck that weird eyebrow hair, and revel in your mature sophistication.”
5. When remodeling your home:
Dry sherry + palm cocktail-wine glass. “You’ll need something both soothing and cheap to get you through the weeks (months? years?) of banging and clanging and being over budget. Dry Sherry lasts much longer than regular table wine if you keep it in the refrigerator (about two weeks), so you’ll never feel like you’re pouring money down the drain when you don’t finish a bottle. It’s got the dry, crisp character that white wine does, but with a salty, nutty note on the finish, and it’s a bit higher in alcohol.”
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