Great Wine Pairings for Weekday Dinners

It’s the middle of the week, and you need dinner on the table as quickly and effortlessly as possible. But you’d also like a glass of something great to wash it down with, after a hard day’s work. If you’re keen to bring a touch of luxury to proceedings, finding the perfect wine pairing for your weekday dinner might be just what you need.

Wine with dinner

Of course, knowing which wine will go best with a quick and easy midweek meal isn’t always easy. Aside from having a rough idea whether we should be choosing white or red, many of us aren’t entirely confident in whether we should be putting Pinot with our pasta or Shiraz with a steak – let alone which specific region might provide the flavour we’re looking for.

When you’re doing your online shopping or your dash to the supermarket, here are a few great wines to look out for that pair brilliantly with easy everyday dishes.

Green pesto pasta with Sicilian Vermentino
It’s sometimes said that an ideal way to pair wine with food is to choose items that come from the same region. Over-simplified, yes, but in this case, it works like a charm. Mineral-y white wines work well with the basil and pine nuts of a pesto pasta dish, and a Sicilian Vermentino is just the right vino to complement the fresh green flavours.
Group dining with wine

Vermentino is a light-bodied wine with citrus aromatics and a clean, crisp mineral finish; expect flavours of pear, white peach and pink grapefruit. Whether you’re opting for pollo alla pesto or an even lighter dish with mushroom and green vegetables, this Sicilian wine will fit the bill. If you’d prefer to stick to red wine, avoid anything that will overpower the dish. Instead, choose something like a light-bodied Gamay.

Vegetable fajitas with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Trying to pair wine with fajitas can definitely seem tricky, given how many factors are at play. Grilled vegetables, cheese, spicy seasoning and potentially guacamole and sour cream; it’s a lot of flavour profiles to think about.

You could play it extra safe with a low-alcohol red – noting that the higher the alcohol content, the spicier your food will taste. The spicier your food is, to begin with, the colder and fruitier you’ll want your wine to be.

Fruity, aromatic and off-dry white wines are a great match for fajitas made with vegetables and white meats because they can hold their own against the other flavours without overpowering them completely. Experts often recommend fruit-heavy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as a pairing for cheese-topped fajitas, empanadas and chile rellenos, though you could opt for a juicy Italian Primitivo if you’re going easy on the spice with your dish.

Beef burgers with blue cheese and Argentinian Malbec
Burgers might be simple, fast food, but a good quality beef burger will be rich and flavourful. Topped with bold flavours like blue cheese and grilled onion, this weekday dinner is best accompanied by a wine that has a robust flavour profile.

Malbec, Zinfandel and Cotes du Rhone can all fit the bill, but an oaked Argentinian Malbec is the ideal mate. A full-bodied, fruity red like this can cut through the fattiness of the cheese and the peppery flavours of the burger itself, thanks to the balance of tannins and acidity in the wine.

Argentina is a country known for its barbecued meats as much as for its wine, making this a region that also offers perfect pairings for steak, ribs and pulled pork, as well as simpler cheeseburgers.

Black bean stir fry with Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
Black bean sauce is very rich, and like a blue cheeseburger, a black bean stir fry is best paired with a wine that has plenty of depth and flavour. An Argentinian Malbec or a high-tannin Merlot would work well again here, but to mix things up, try a smooth Chilean Cab Sav. Rich and velvety, a Chilean Cabernet is perfectly balanced to pair with this tricky dish.

Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes can all be difficult to pair with wine, as they’re from regions where wine-making didn’t evolve alongside the cuisine. For sweet and sour stir-fries, swap out the heavier body of Cabernet Sauvignon for a lighter, fruity ros├ę wine from Chile or Australia. Alternatively, if you’re cooking your stir fry in a spicy Szechuan style, complement the heat of the dish with a sweeter Pinot Gris or Gew├╝rztraminer.

Chicken and leek pie with Australian Viognier
Pies are a great winter food that can be bought or prepared in advance, and simply thrown in the oven when you arrive home from work. To add a touch of elegance to a simple meal of chicken pie, potato and vegetables, look for a good Viognier to pair perfectly with the creaminess of the sauce.

Viognier is a smooth, off-dry white wine with aromas of stone fruit and honeysuckle. If that sounds like a strange thing to pair with chicken pie, don’t be put off! It’s a bold choice with a subtle bitterness and medium acidity, and pairing it with a creamy chicken dish is an ideal way to heighten the flavours of both the wine and the meal.

If you’re on the hunt for a perfect pairing to bring a little sparkle to your weekday meals, there’s no need to spend hours picking through the supermarket shelves. You can order wine online, complete with tasting notes, and simply search by grape variety and region to find the best bottle for you.



About the author: Tabby Farrar runs the sustainable lifestyle site JustCantSettle.com, and also writes for a range of well-known brands. This post has been fact-checked by Virgin Wines.

No comments

Post a comment

I love to hear from everyone so thanks for taking the time to comment.

Please note comments containing links will not be published.

Cheers
Jan