While the temperatures are still on the cooler end of the thermometer it's a good time to go with the big bold foods. I've decided to start with bacon wrapped appetizers and bacon cheeseburgers.
Bacon is salty and loaded with fat. A combination that is not always a good pairing with wine.
Pairing Tip: Salt, fat, sweet, sour, etc. flavors in foods will affect how a wine will taste on our palate. Foods that are salty and fatty need a wine with strong acidity, should be low in tannins, have a fuller body, and maybe have a hint of sweetness.First I'd like to share a very simple appetizer that can be your 'go to' dish for almost every special occasion during the year. Dates and bacon, sweet and salty, are a delightful combination.
The acidity cuts through the fat, and the full body allows your palate to stay awake so to speak. A wine with a hint of sweetness can be a bit refreshing.
Easy Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
- 12 Medjool dates pitted
- 4-6 TBLS. goat cheese
- 6 slices of bacon cut in half
- 12 Small wooden skewers soaked in water - or metal skewers.
- Make a slit in the center of the date, but do not cut them in half (try to keep the date in one piece). Take about 1/2 teaspoon of goat cheese and place it into the date where you made the cut. Wrap a slice of bacon around the date and use a skewer to hold in place.
- Grill the them for about 10 minutes turning them when each side is crisp. Or you can saute them in a non-stick skillet seam side down, turning them until bacon is browned. Drain and serve hot.
Wine Pairing: When we think of grilling and barbecue we think of big red wines. However the salty bacon can be too much for a big bold red wine.
An off dry Riesling or a Gewurztraminer can be a good pairing for the bacon wrapped dates. They have the acidity to cut through the fat.
When you are not sure whether to choose a white or red wine, choose a rose wine. Rose wines are food friendly. They have the acidity necessary to pair with many foods, and range from medium to full body. They have lots of fruit flavors as well.
You can find Merlot rose, Montepulciano rose, Shiraz rose just to name a few. They have lower tannins than the red varieties yet they still have the fruitiness that we like and enough body to hold up to the burger.
There are sparkling rose wines also which are good to pair with salty and fatty foods. The bubbles act as a palate cleanser making everything taste better.
Happy Spring Grilling!