A Wine Strategist's Guide to Pairing
Shelley Lindgren of San Francisco’s SPQR has the world’s most sensible wine-drinking philosophy: Pour good, inexpensive bottles on weekdays; pricier, more complex bottles on weekends; and exceptional bottles once a month. Here’s how to follow her advice, with fantastic recipes to match from SPQR chef Matthew Accarrino.
In this Article
- Weeknight Wine Strategy
- Weekend Wine Strategy
- Monthly Wine Strategy
- Everyday Wine Cheatsheet
- Video: Expert Wine Pairing Tips
Simple Recipes + Satisfying Wines for Weeknights
Mondays through Thursdays, Shelley Lindgren pours what she calls “weeknight wines”: tasty, inexpensive bottles that she often buys by the case. They go well with SPQR chef Matthew Accarrino’s easiest dishes, like a braised chicken with apples. Lindgren knows Italian winemakers who take her everyday strategy even further: “Some will say, ‘This is our lunch wine; this is our dinner wine.’”
Inspired Dishes + Intriguing Wines for Weekends
On weekends, Accarrino experiments; he makes dishes that take some time but allow him to master a technique. For instance, he’s perfected the flaky crust that tops his excellent curried lamb potpie. Likewise, Lindgren makes a point to try unfamiliar, intriguing bottles and will spend hours browsing in wine stores for labels she doesn’t know.
Ambitious Food + Jaw-Dropping Wines for Once a Month
“Even people in Barolo don’t drink Barolo every day,” says Lindgren. She reserves spectacular wines for a monthly splurge. As a food pairing, Accarrino makes exceptional beef cannelloni.
RELATED: Cannelloni with Walnuts and Fried Sage
Everyday Wine Cheat Sheet
Here, a fast guide to wines that SPQR’s Shelley Lindgren drinks on weekdays ($10 to $20 a bottle), weekends ($20 to $40 a bottle) and once a month ($40 to $100 a bottle).
The ubiquitous aperitif in Italy’s Veneto region.
Weekly: Cremant d’Alsace
Creamy in texture and tart in flavor.
Complex and delicate.
Minerally and citrusy, from Spain’s northwestern corner.
An impressive noble Italian white from Italy’s Le Marche region.
Monthly: High-end Gewürztraminer
Lindgren “geeks out” to the most refined European bottlings, with their incredible range of flavors.
Daily: Southern Rhône Reds
Lindgren especially loves Grenache-based Gigondas for its versatility and robust flavors.
“This Spanish red has it all: fruit, grace and power,” says Lindgren.
Video: Expert Wine Pairing Tips