Today is National Best Friend Day, and what better way to celebrate the ride-or-dies in your life than with some real life food and wine besties? These pairings go together like Bill and Ted, Beyonce and Kelly, or you and your best bud.
MARCONA ALMONDS AND SHERRY: LET'S GET NUTS
Marcona almonds are sweeter, moister, and softer than your run-of-the-mill almond. Coupled with a buttery texture these sweet treats are a perfect partner for an Amontillado or Fino Sherry. The oxidative style and unique blending of sherry gives it nutty, floral notes that beautifully complement the richness of Marcona almonds.
CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR: BUBBLING WITH LUXURY
Champagne and caviar are the Patsy and Edina of food and wine. Both exude a certain sophistication and love to add a luxe to everyday life. Caviar is decadent, high in oil, fat and salt, and the Champagne adds texture, lift, fruit and minerality. Try Champagne Tarlant “Zero” Brut Nature, which is dry, precise, and available in full and half-size bottles, so it’s great for any budget.
SEAFOOD AND MUSCADET: A DEEP DIVE
Clams on the half-shell, steamed mussels, $1 oysters or a grilled fish feast, Muscadet is a maritime bestie for these foods. Bonnet-Huteau “Les Bonnets” 2019 is a pretty classic version of this wine, made from a grape called Melon de Bourgogne in the western end of the Loire Valley, where the Loire River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The area is known for creating crisp wines with high minerality and soft, subtle notes of apple and citrus fruit. Bonnet-Huteau is an organic producer making honest, elegant white wines with a kiss of the sea.
BEEF AND BORDEAUX: A DUO FOR THE AGES
Harold had Kumar. Bill had Ted. Steaks have Bordeaux. Indeed, “Cab and a slab” has been shorthand for the deep-rooted friendship between juicy, melt-in-your-mouth steak (or steak tacos) and the structured, earthy character of Bordeaux. And just like steak, there’s a wine for every occasion and every budget. For instance, Tellus Vinea Bordeaux 2019, made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, is just under $20, but don’t let that fool you. The Belregard-Figeac estate has been in the Pueyo family since the mid-1800's. They are a traditional producer, refusing to bend to the trends that have blown through Bordeaux over the years. They are dedicated to making traditional, classic merlot-dominant wines that combine elegance and strength. Dark fruits, graphite, pepper and earth are present.
Looking to step things up a notch? Try Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse Paulliac 2015. This stunning blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot comes from three large plots on a classified estate in some of the best terroir in Pauillac. Renowned for aromatically complex, well structured wine this bottle is true to the classic Pauillac style. Hand-picked and de-stalked, the grapes undergo fermentation in stainless steel tanks then aged from 18-24 months in French oak barrels, 30%-40% of which are new. Alluring graphite and cedar on the nose with juicy black-currant, black cherry and mocha that meld into a richly textured, lengthy finish. Excellent aging potential, but perfectly fine to drink now. This is the bottle you bust out when you’re going out on the town.