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6 Pairing Tips from Shea Gallante

These recipes are delicious with lots of different wines—red and white, light and rich, New World and Old. Chef Shea Gallante of Manhattan’s Cru also shares 6 invaluable tips for pairing such classic foods as earthy pastas, meat loaf and fried fish.

1. Pastas with earthy ingredients like mushrooms pair well with wines that have earthy or nutty notes. Many red wines show the same characteristics, as well as some older whites.

Recipe: Pappardelle with Porcini and Pistachios

    Our picks:
  • 1988 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco
  • 2006 Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera
  • 2004 Coume del Mas Schistes

2. In general, cheesy pizzas go best with moderately tannic reds. Crisp whites also work with pizzas like Gallante’s that are made without tomato sauce, which tends to overwhelm white wines.

Recipe: Pizza with Charred Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto

    Our picks:
  • 2005 Banfi Chianti Classico
  • 2005 Terre dei Re Vultur Aglianico del Vulture
  • 2006 Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio

3. This luxurious sandwich can pair with any number of reds or whites, as long as the wine has enough tannins (for reds) or acidity (for whites) to cut through the richness.

Recipe: Lobster BLT

    Our picks:
  • 2006 Château de Pizay Morgon
  • 2006 Pierre Sparr Riesling Réserve
  • 2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir

4. Almost any red wine that’s full-bodied and flavorful can go with a meat loaf that isn’t heavily seasoned. Among the many good choices are Barolos, Cabernet Sauvignons and Riojas.

Recipe: Meat Loaf with Red Wine Glaze

    Our picks:
  • 2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2004 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza
  • 2003 Pio Cesare Barolo

5. Match wines with a dish’s strongest flavor, such as the robustly spiced chorizo on these crostini. It can go with either fruity reds or full-bodied whites.

Recipe: Crostini with Creamy Ricotta & Chorizo

    Our picks:
  • 2006 Artadi Orobio Rioja Blanco
  • 2004 Haggipavlu Nemea
  • 2005 Le Meurger Bourgogne Chardonnay

6. For fried foods, crisp and dry wines are the best matches—they help cut the richness of the fried crust. When there’s lots of garlic (or ramps), too, look for whites with good minerality, which can stand up to garlicky intensity.

Recipe: Fish Fry with Ramp Aioli

    Our picks:
  • 2006 Joseph Drouhin Premier Cru Chablis
  • 2007 Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner
  • 2006 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Riesling

Cru, 24 Fifth Ave., New York City; 212-529-1700.

Published April 2008
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