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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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At-Home Sommelier

Why Sparkling Rosé Pairs with Everything

Chef Ignacio Mattos, left, and wine director Thomas Carter of New York City's Estela.

Estela's Thomas Carter shares fantastic sparkling rosé pairings that show why this style of wine is incredibly versatile and food-friendly. Read more >

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At-Home Sommelier

Mario Batali's Wine Picks

Jimmy Fallon and Mario Batali

Photo © Michael Turek

In F&W's April issue, guest editor Mario Batali teaches Jimmy Fallon how to make pasta, braise meat and stuff calzones. Here, the superchef recommends what wines to drink when the cooking is done.

2009 Contadi Castaldi
Franciacorta Rosé

Pair with: Mini Calzones, Crab Salad with Mint Oil
“I love not-too-pricey sparkling wines, especially in spring.”

2010 St. Michael-Eppan Lagrein
Pair with: Fettuccine with Spicy Sausage
“A juicy red for spicy pasta.”

2008 Au Bon Climat Nuits-Blanches au Bouge Chardonnay
Pair with: Osso Buco with Horseradish Gremolata (photo)
“I’m breaking all the rules here, pairing meat with white wine.”

2012 Giacomo Bologna Braida Brachetto D’Acqui
Pair with: Balsamic Strawberries
“A strawberry dessert makes me think berry-colored wine.”

Related: Mario Batali's Full Cooking Lesson
Behind-the-Scenes at Mario Batali Bootcamp with Jimmy Fallon
Mario Batali Recipes

Tasting Room

A Valentine's Day Wine Survival Guide

Great wines and cocktails to pair with every Valentine's Day scenario.
© Michael Turek

© Michael Turek

Ah, Valentine’s Day. If everything goes right, then you have a happy romantic night out with your loved one, and wake the following morning to songbirds chirping, the sun caressing you with buttery light, a suffusion of love in your heart, and no hangover at all. If things go wrong, then you get a night full of misery, anger, disappointment, shame, betrayal, and tears, but what did you expect? That's what dating’s all about. Be that as it may, Valentine’s Day is here, and no matter what your romantic situation is, you’re undoubtedly going to need a drink. Here are five suggestions to match some possible Valentine’s Day activities. »

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Tasting Room

Best Super Bowl Chicken Wings and Beers

© Hector Sanchez
© Hector Sanchez

© Hector Sanchez

My secret theory about why chicken wings and football go so well together can be demonstrated by a very simple experiment. First, go to the store and buy a chicken. Next, remove its wings. Next, truss its little feet together. Now paint it brown. What does it look like? Exactly: a football. Chickens are footballs, except for the wings. And that’s why when we watch football, we eat chicken wings. 5 perfect beer and wings pairings. »

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Tasting Room

Wine with Fajitas, Otherwise Known as “Fa-HEE-tas”

© Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.

© Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.

When it comes to pairing wine and fajitas—a situation that might occur for some people only after every last margarita on earth had been drained—here’s a general thought. Fajitas, which are typically served with onions, grilled bell peppers, cheese, pico de gallo, possibly guacamole, maybe sour cream and who knows what other fixings, fall into the broad pairing category of “It isn’t the meat, it’s the sauce (or condiments).” Essentially, you’re picking a wine to go with a mass of wildly different flavors. So you want one that goes with, more or less, anything. How to pick that fajita-pleasing wine. »

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Wine Wednesday

Brunch Drinks

© Tina Rupp

Try pairing the three drinks below with a fantastic brunch recipe, like this Smoked-Salmon Scramble with Dill Griddle Biscuits. // © Tina Rupp

Ah, brunch. People go bonkers for brunch. Say the word “brunch,” and your friends will say things like, “Yeah! Great! Let’s do it!” Unless they have kids, in which case they’ll look sort of morose, because instead of going to brunch with you they’re going to be at a birthday party for five-year-olds. But that’s the human condition: Sunday-morning cocktails, then offspring, and finally death.

Be that as it may, in terms of drink options, folks tend to default to one of three things: a mimosa, usually made with some Minute Maid and a bottle of random sparkling wine that someone brought over six months ago; a Bloody Mary (which I’m not knocking at all); or Champagne. Yet because life is short and the human condition is dire, why not experiment while you still have a chance? 3 Fantastic Brunch Drinks. »

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Wine Wednesday

Potato Chips and Wine

Keep your carrot sticks and jugs of juiced kale, I say; give me potato chips. And—the key consideration here—they actually go well with wine.

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Wine Wednesday

Rosé for Turkey Day

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© Fredrika Stjärne

© Fredrika Stjärne

Here’s the deal with Thanksgiving. You need a wine that goes with turkey (easy enough, turkeys don’t taste like anything). You need a wine that goes with stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top (a concept I find revolting, personally, but what can I say?), creamed onions, mashed potatoes with gravy, brussels sprouts, you name it. And, because who wants to make more than one trip to the store for this crazy holiday, you need wine that goes with pizza, too, because pizza is the single most popular food for the night before Thanksgiving. To put it more briefly, what you need is a wine that goes with everything. And that’s a dry rosé. "It’s not too big, it’s not too small; as Goldilocks would say, if she were old enough to drink, it’s just right." »

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Wine Wednesday

Wine with Chicken Breasts

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© Lucy Schaeffer

Fruit-based sauces like the apricot-onion pan sauce in this recipe pair well with a ripe Chardonnay from a warm region. / © Lucy Schaeffer

Admittedly, pairing wine with chicken breasts is kind of a pump fake topic, since as anyone with a nose or a tongue (or both) knows, chicken breasts on their own are about as intensely flavorful as water, or air. But it’s a fine way to illustrate one of the basic wine pairing rules, which is “Sometimes it isn’t the meat, it’s the sauce.” Since we have about nine billion chicken breast recipes on our site at Food & Wine, I’ve hijacked some favorites as examples. »

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Wine Wednesday

Grilled Cheese and Wine

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Mario Batali's Mortadella and Cheese Panini

Mortadella and Cheese Panini; © Con Poulos

Imagine a world without cheese—no pizza, no mac and cheese, no cheeseburgers, no cheesecake, no grilled cheese. It would mean the disintegration of society as we know it! The end of the world! Possibly the complete implosion of the entire known universe! Well, thankfully, ExxonMobil has patented the process of “cheese fracking,” insuring that none of us will ever face a future sans cheese. And that means we can go merrily on pairing wine with our grilled cheese sandwiches. And that, my cheese-fanatic friends, is a big relief. "American cheese and white bread. Shouldn’t be scoffed at, even by foodies, and never scoffed at by seven-year-olds." »

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.