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Affordable Wines and Their Perfect Recipes

10 terrific wines under $15—and recipes that pair perfectly with them.
Steamed Mussels with Garlic Toasts

Crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc: 2007 Indaba

The Dish: Steamed Mussels with Garlic Toasts
A classic recipe for mussels in white wine

Asian Chicken Salad with Wasabi Dressing + Riesling

Crisp, appley Riesling: 2007 Clos du Bois

The Dish: Asian Chicken Salad with Wasabi Dressing
This delectable poached-chicken salad, packed with Asian pear, cucumber and bean sprouts, offers a double hit of wasabi. First, F&W’s Melissa Rubel whisks wasabi powder into the dressing—a blend of mayonnaise, rice vinegar and sesame oil—then she garnishes the salad with crunchy wasabi peas.

Green Chicken Masala

Oregon Gewürztraminer: 2006 Montinore Estate

The Dish: Green Chicken Masala
This fresh-flavored, spicy recipe can be made an easy way by using only chicken thighs and adding spices all at once to cut back on the cooking time.

Chicken Hot Pot with Mushrooms and Tofu

Light-bodied, unoaked Chardonnay: 2006 Ruffino Libaio

The Dish: Chicken Hot Pot with Mushrooms and Tofu
In his version of Asian hot pot, Ethan Stowell gives each person at the table an individual bowl of sliced mushrooms, tofu and scallions, then adds piping hot chicken broth loaded with chunks of tender cooked chicken.

Pasta with Cauliflower, Peppers and Walnut Pesto

Creamy, oak-aged Chardonnay: 2006 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells

The Dish: Pasta with Cauliflower, Peppers and Walnut Pesto
This nutty pasta dish needs a fairly substantial white wine to go with it (true of pastas with pesto in general). A Chardonnay with some oak aging will work, as oak’s vanilla and spice notes go well with nuts.

Gwyneth’s Clams

Vibrant, citrusy Albariño: 2007 Condes de Albarei

The Dish: Gwyneth’s Clams
Gwyneth Paltrow’s tasty recipe couldn’t be simpler: The wine is infused with garlic and bay leaves while it steams open the clams. A splash of olive oil completes the dish.

Chicken with Piquillos

Lively Spanish rosé: 2007 Bodegas Muga

The Dish: Chicken with Piquillos
This hearty chicken dish will pair well with any number of wines, both white and red, so split the difference and pour a lively Spanish rosé (or rosado, as the Spanish call it). Some of the best come from Rioja, like the fruity 2007 Bodegas Muga and the berry-scented 2007 El Coto.

Pan-Seared Skirt Steak with Anchovies and Lime

Bright, citrusy California rosé: 2006 Folie á Deux Ménage á Trois Rosé

The Dish: Pan-Seared Skirt Steak with Anchovies and Lime
Jacques Pépin’s mother-in-law, who was from Puerto Rico, seasoned her steaks liberally with lime juice before and after cooking, then served them with a sauce that included anchovies and garlic. This is Pépin’s sped-up version.

Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes and Honey

Juicy, crisp rosé: 2007 Clos du Bois

The Dish: Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes and Honey
“It’s a tradition for winemakers to bake bread with grapes to celebrate the harvest,” says David Page. Each fall, he uses his wood-burning oven to make this crusty flatbread studded with creamy crumbled blue cheese and sweet table grapes.

Short Rib Stew

Juicy, berry-rich Shiraz: 2006 Black Box Central Coast

The Dish: Short Rib Stew
When Ethan Stowell was growing up, his father was the family cook; beef stew was one of his specialties. Unlike his dad, who favored rump roast, Stowell uses short ribs, a marbled cut that turns fabulously succulent and tender when slow-simmered.

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