Champagne with Potato Chips? Free Web Site Offers 360,000 Food and Wine Pairings
Author/Sommelier Natalie MacLean Offers Daring Matches
May, 2007 - You really can drink wine with just about anything, according to a new web site devoted to food and wine pairings. Zinfandel with your Tex-Mex? Not a problem. A little Chardonnay with your fried chicken take-out? Delicious. Pinot Noir and wild boar? Why not, says Natalie MacLean, who has included these in a free, interactive matching tool at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher
"The old rules about white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat just don't give enough guidance anymore," says MacLean, author of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass, which was named the Best Wine Literature Book at the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards. "With modern fusion cuisine and wines from new regions around the world, the choices-and confusion-are great."
MacLean's matching tool pairs wines with everyday meals, as well as challenging fare, such as vegetarian cuisine, egg-based sauces, cheese, TV dinners, and even dessert, including Jell-O and fudge (for those who like to layer their vices).
Visitors simply search by wine for meal inspirations or by food to find great wine choices. There are more than 360,000 food and wine combinations in the matcher as well as thousands of recipes for a variety of dishes. MacLean adds more wines and foods based on readers' suggestions, which she gets from the 71,000 subscribers to her free e-newsletter, Nat Decants. The newsletter offers tips on how to buy, cellar and serve wine. MacLean also writes about food and wine matching for dinner parties in Red, White and Drunk All Over.
With barbecue season around the corner, wine lovers will find suggestions for grilled meats and vegetables, as well as summer salads and seafood. Those planning weddings, reunions and graduation parties can discover great suggestions for a wide range of menus. Got a dish or a wine to stump Natalie? E-mail her via the web site and she'll suggest a match for you.
About Natalie MacLean
Natalie MacLean has won four James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award; and she was named the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards. Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, says that Natalie "writes about wine with a sensuous obsession" and is "often laugh-out-loud funny." Eric Asimov of the New York Times notes, "Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman . she loves wine, loves drinking ... a winning formula."