Value Wine Pairings
Korean Seafood Pancakes
These crispy seafood pancakes get a spicy tang from the kimchi that’s mixed into the batter. To add more heat to the dish, thinly slice a hot chile pepper and add it to the dipping sauce.
Pairing Suggestion: Peay Vineyards has a value-conscious label called Cep Vineyards that produces a citrusy 2010 Chardonnay ($22).
Asian Beef with Basil
This hearty, Franco-Asian beef stew gets a fresh kick from basil and hot chiles.
Pairing Suggestion: A ripe, berry-saturated 2010 Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon ($20) from Langtry Estate and Vineyards.
These stellar lamb-stuffed onions are baked in a creamy sauce and topped with crispy bread crumbs.
Pairing Suggestion: A terrific 2009 Dashe Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($24)
Penne with Asparagus, Peas, Mushrooms and Cream
To make a fast, inexpensive dish combining pasta, mushrooms, and cream, toss penne with peas, shiitake and asparagus for a cost of about $36.
Pairing Suggestion: A top négociant Pinot from Carneros: the 2009 Educated Guess Pinot Noir ($25).
Pan-Seared Sichuan Shrimp with Mung Bean Noodles
Dried mung bean noodles or vermicelli work equally well in this recipe by Sang Yoon.
Pairing Suggestion: This spicy noodle dish is terrific with a glass of Orval. The Trappist ale, Sang Yoon says, has an unusually light candied-orange flavor that's delicious with the citrusy Sichuan peppercorns flavoring the plump shrimp.
Butcher's Ragù with Fusilli
At Eataly's pasta and pizza counter, Mario Batali's team serves three different pasta shapes with a choice of about five different sauces ("made by some crazy dudes," says Batali). For the first time ever, he's going to let his customers match the sauce with the pasta shape. This sauce, an ever-so-slightly creamy ragù made with ground beef, pancetta and ham, is flavored with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes.
Pairing Suggestion: Lush, concentrated Merlot.
Creamy Chicken-and-Mushroom Fricassee
"I love the word fricassee, Andrew Carmellini says. He garnishes his with celery leaves.
Pairing Suggestion: Earthy, juicy Beaujolais.
Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
"A good sauce is the bridge between the meat and the wine," says Ken Frank. When pairing beef with Cabernet, he usually serves a hearty red-wine sauce, like the one on these short ribs. Veal stock gives the dish extra-deep flavor, but chicken stock (preferably homemade) works well too.
Pairing Suggestion: With its currantlike fruit, firm tannins and lush body, Cabernet is a Napa Valley classic that goes well with most beef and lamb dishes.
Braised Short Ribs with Daikon and Glass Noodles
These tender short ribs are served in an intense broth made sweet with mirin and brown sugar and dark with soy sauce and sherry. "This is a variation of a Korean dish called kalbi tang," Sang Yoon says.
Pairing Suggestion: For a beer match, Yoon recommends a caramelly dubbel such as Westmalle.
Fideos with Shrimp, Ham and Clams
Fideos are thin, often toasted noodles that are used in a paella-like Spanish dish called fideuá. Chris Ainsworth cooks his fideos over the grill with a saffron-scented ham-hock broth and head-on prawns, but the recipe is also good with standard shrimp.
Pairing Suggestion: This might seem like white-wine food, but most Spaniards—and guests at MacLachlan's party—drink red wine with fideos. The dish is rich enough to go well with fairly hearty bottlings, such as a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
Trofie Pasta with Cockles, Chiles and Black Bean Sauce
Ken Vedrinski discovered the hand-coiled pasta called trofie and the super-minerally white-wine Vermentino while traveling in Liguria.
Pairing Suggestion: Vermentino, a white Italian grape, grows all over the seaside region of Liguria. Its natural minerality is good with shellfish dishes.