Wine FAQs – Part 3


Here is Part 3 of our Wine FAQs series!  We’ll provide you with the answers to any questions you have about Messina Hof, wine, and the winemaking process. Glasses

If I can have only one wine on hand to serve several guests with many different foods, what do you suggest?

An all purpose wine would be one that is low in alcohol, slightly fruity, low tannin, delicate flavor and texture, white or red.  Examples are Riesling, Pinot Grigio, unoaked Chardonnay, Gamay Beajolais, and Merlot.

Are there any serious “do not do’s” when pairing wine with food? 

There is no wine and food police.  You should drink whatever you like to drink with whatever you like to eat.  The important thing to remember that there are pairings that make you think WOW and those are the ones we want to maximize and duplicate in our lives.

What wine do you suggest with pork? 

Pork comes in many styles.  Ham is very salty and requires a wine that is light and fruity to mask the salt.  Salt can make big reds metallic in taste.  Smoked ham can handle a barrel aged wine – white or red.  Other pork, roasted or baked, is usually defined by the sauce used.  The wine is paired to the sauce rather than the meat.

Do you pair similar tasting wine/food or contrasting flavors? 

Food and Wine pairing is like a marriage of people.  There are opposites that attract and there are those who are similar that get along because they share so many interests.  Often, the most exciting pairings are those that are opposites, and those that are similar are more subtle.

Do flavors from barrels affect wine and food pairings? 

Food and Wine pair best based on weights.  The food should not overwhelm the wine and the wine should not overwhelm the food.  Any flavors that the barrel adds to the wine increase the flavor weight of the wine.  For example, if I have a toasty barrel that produces wine with a smoky character, it can handle grilled or smoked foods much more easily.

What kind of wine would you serve with desserts? 

Sweet wines can be served as desserts themselves.  Wines like Ports and Late Harvest wines and Sauternes are the perfect finish to a beautiful meal.  If you decide to serve a dessert with the dessert wines, just try to make sure the dessert is less sweet than the wine.  Even the sweetest wines will taste sour when paired with foods sweeter than the wine.

Why don’t we make it here anymore? 

Messina Hof is not set up for mass production.  However we do work with a Sparkling wine house to produce our own sparkling wine.  Only a French company can use the term Champagne.  All other countries must call it sparkling wine.

What wine is the best replacement for Champagne? 

Champagne comes in many styles.  If you prefer a drier style, I recommend an un-oaked Chardonnay as most Champagnes are made from Chardonnay.  If you prefer a fruitier style, I recommend a Muscat Canelli or Riesling.  If you prefer pink, I recommend the Mama Rosa Rose’.