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The Cookstr Weekly: Memorial Day Grilling & Marco Pasanella’s Wine Pairings

May 31, 2012

As Memorial Day rolls into view, so too do visions of beachy days and summertime fare, from flavorful salads made with summer-ripe tomatoes and corn, to succulent zucchini and peppers, and plenty of burgers, chicken, and fish on the grill to feed any wayward neighbor whose nose might lead them to your backyard. Here’s a selection of creative grilling fare supplemented with plenty of fresh sides and cold, delicious desserts to kick off the season in style. Start the season right with a plump peel-and-eat Grilled Shrimp Cocktail. And if you’re wondering what to drink with your Memorial Day meal, we’ve got an exclusive excerpt from Marco Pasanella’s Uncorked to guide you.

More Memorial Day Recipes from Cookstr



Here are ten of Marco Pasanella‘s favorite wine and food pairings from his new book Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine.

“Here’s my dream team of wine and food combinations. Some echo each other’s tastes; others are complementary, making both food and wine better than they would have been without each other.”

1. Moscato and lemon risotto: Dry, aromatic white meets zesty rice for a refreshing hookup.

2. Riesling and sea salt-crusted mussels: Sweet offsets salt, and you don’t have to be a wine geek to find yourself oohing.

3. Lambrusco and salumi: This tart and sparkling red is just the thing to cut the richness of prosciutto and Parmigiano. It’s a classic combination but one worth remembering in light of Lambrusco’s lingering and outdated reputation as gooey 1970s fizz. Good Lambrusco is also ideal with Mexican food and barbeque.

4. Chianti classico and ribolitta: A classic combination that’s a textbook case for figuring out how food can enhance wine. Chianti’s rich flavors are highlighted by this tomato-y white bean stew, which also drowns out its harsher tannins.

5. Meursault and morels: Pair smoky whites with blanquettes de veau, a French veal stew, smothered with creamy morels for love on a mossy forest floor.

6. Chinon and salmon: A chilled, light red (yes, red) tames this rich fish.

7. Pineau de charentes and almonds: A slightly sweet brandy mixed with grape juice is not wine but is just the thing for almonds, especially with almond pound cake or tangy amaretti (almond cookies).

8. Champagne and popcorn: Crisp bubbly meets hot buttered popcorn for the best high-low combination since Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

9. Beaujolais and roast chicken: The secret to this simple combo is in the quality of both the food and the wine. Splurge on a cru Beaujolais, a graceful wine that won’t overwhelm the bird. And get the best Bresse chicken, roasted in a lemony sea salt crust.

10. Barolo and truffles: Food and wine from the same place, Piedmont’s Asti in this case, often make perfect pairings. Gamy aged Barolo is tailor-made for matching with a few shavings of these musky, earthy mushrooms over pasta fresco (freshly made egg noodles).

Check out Marco’s recipe for Minuccio’s Cacciucco from Uncorked on Cookstr!

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