McCormick & Company: Flavor Pairing With Messina Hof Wines


By Merrill Bonarrigo, Owner of Messina Hof Wine Cellars, Inc.

Every year McCormick & Company puts out their flavor forecast. Each year I take the challenge to pair our Messina Hof Wines with the flavor pairings that they present. These are my favorites for 2013.  (Please feel

Winefree to share your own).

1.  “Decadent bitter chocolate, sweet basil and passion fruit – an intensely indulgent combo”

This pairing intrigued me because I love all three flavors but had never had them together. The interesting thing was that the basil and passion fruit made the bitter chocolate (which for me is best suited to red wines) pair nicely with whites. I enjoyed this combo with our Blanc du Bois and Moscato in the whites and Admiral’s Reserve Port in the red.

2.  “Black Rum, Charred Orange and Allspice – An instant tropical getaway”

I had personally never tried charred orange but that was an interesting flavor in itself. Caramelized orange, rum and allspice are about as strong a combo as I have experienced. In the end the allspice was the dominant flavor and I enjoyed it with the Moscato in the white and Papa Paulo Port in the red.

3.  “Cider, Sage and Molasses – Rustic and comforting”

Molasses always reminds me of balsamic vinegar flavors and sage is very earthy. This combo was most complementary to the Cabernet Sauvignon in the red and Riesling in the white.

4.  “Smoked tomato, rosemary, Chile peppers and sweet onion – Smoky, sweet and spicy flavors”

This combo was like eating fresh BBQ sauce. It was great and went really well with the TexZin in the red wine and the Gewurztraminer in the white.

5.  “Anise and Cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce) – Sweet, rich delight”

Anise is very Italian and we drink it in our espresso so this combo sounded like a perfect dessert combo. I tried it with the Solera Sherry and my eye rolled up in my head (that means really good.)

Try your own taste combo’s and let me know what you like best.