|1. The Food: Clam Pizza *with Salad Topping
Pies with seafood and veggie toppings – particularly those that skip the sauce — are delicious departures from your standard slice. This is a perfect pizza to throw in the oven on a summer evening shared with friends.
The Pairing: Château Lamothe de Haux, Bordeaux 2010 ($13)
This is a fresh, citrusy, summer-perfect white that's just delicious with the clams. Whether or not you're near the beach, you'll practically hear the roar of the surf with this meal.
|2. The Food: Pickled ramps
This spring, all of New York was in a frenzy over these veggies – they were almost impossible to find as early-rising foodies scoured the local farmers markets. But you can still enjoy them as an ultra-flavorful side, thanks to artisan pickle makers – just search at your local farmers market.
The Pairing: Château Doisy Daëne, Barsac 2011 ($31)
Though it might sound strange, these briny treats are highlighted by this wine's unctuous sweetness. Barsac wines are slightly drier than standard Sauternes, so this won't feel like the final course.
|3. The Food: Fish and Chips
This comfort food doesn't have to be based on average white fish – I recently discovered an incredible incarnation made with flounder, but it's hard to go wrong. If you find a flaky fish you love, battering and frying can only help matters.
The Pairing: Le Rosé de Giscours, Bordeaux Rosé 2011 ($15)
This one might surprise you – it's a style of wine perfectly suited for just about anything deep fried. From a third-*growth estate, this is an unusually elegant rosé with just enough weight *to match the dish.
||5. The Food: Crudo *(or Sashimi) with *Watercress Pesto
Inspired by a dish often served on
the Adriatic coast, this dish is easy to prepare and rewarding. Fresh fish (think Snapper, Tuna or Salmon) paired with a novel take on a classic sauce is guilt-free and satisfying.
The Pairing: Château Graville-Lacoste, Graves 2010 ($15)
This white Graves would be hard not to love. From a stony-soiled vineyard and made with a full 60% Semillon, it has a noticeable minerality and satisfying body. with this meal.
8. The Food: Chili con Porc
Made with pork sausage rather than beef, this is a unique take on chili incorporating fennel, anise and garlic.
The Pairing: Cos d'Estournel, Bordeaux 2011 ($67)
The herbaceous quality of this wine mirrors the flavors of the chili, while its assertive tropical fruit flavors balance out the spice.
6. The Food: BBQ
Burgers, hotdogs and other grilled meats are the staples of summer, and you'll definitely be eating your share this year.
The Pairing: Château La Gatte, Bordeaux Rosé 2010 ($13)
This Merlot-based rosé is a bit higher in alcohol than the standard, and generally has a more assertive profile. It's a delicious companion for casual grilling.
9. The Food: Pasta with Summer Sauce: Cherry Tomatoes and Pancetta
Bright summer tomatoes packed with sweetness and mouthwatering acidity take on a silky sheen when tossed with pancetta crisped in garlicky olive oil.
The Pairing: Fougas Maldoror, Cotes de Bourg 2010 ($15)
10. The Food: Sacher Torte
This Austrian dessert combines luscious bittersweet chocolate with apricot preserves. It's moist and utterly decadent, beautifully merging cocoa and fruit.
The Pairing: Château Suduiraut, Sauternes NV ($67)
This botrytized wine mirrors the apricot flavor, while holding its own against the torte's sweetness.
|4. The Food: Roasted Garlic with Rosemary-Lemon Bruschetta
Roasted garlic transcends the notion of butter in both texture and taste. Slather it on citrus-and-herb-kissed bruschetta. It's rich, densely flavorful, and surprisingly easy to prepare.
The Pairing: Château Penin, Bordeaux Clairet 2010 ($14)
Made from 100% Merlot, this wine is a formidable match for rich foods. It's bolder in flavor and structure than a standard rosé, but still has lots of zesty acidity to counter the marrow's heavier texture.
7. The Food: Smoked Salmon with Deviled Eggs
Taking a page from Sunday Brunch, eggs and salmon come together for a Happy Hour rendezvous.
The Pairing: Jaillance "Cuvée de l'Abbaye", Crémant de Bordeaux Brut NV ($15)
Sparkling wine is a safe bet with either eggs or smoked salmon, and this one's white flower and stone fruit profile is a perfect fit.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.