Traveling Companions

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Story by Charles Fredy

wine advice by Charles FredyThis issue’s dining story highlights one of the pleasures of living in a multicultural place like Hawai‘i: how easy it is to take a culinary trip around the world without leaving home.

The only thing better is finding the perfect wine to accompany your travels.

Let’s start with that blend of English-pub fare and California sunshine — an across-the-pond mingling of fish and chips, burgers and pizzas. Fresh, dry and off-dry wines with bright, crisp flavors work well here, especially those that balance fruit with good acidity. I’d pair these dishes with an un-oaked chardonnay from Macon or California; a riesling from Germany, Austria, France or Australia; or a sauvignon blanc from just about anywhere. Or try a light- to medium-body red such as pinot noir, grenache or an Italian sangiovese. As the food gets richer, move towards a cabernet sauvignon, syrah or an Argentinian malbec.

The perfect match for South American spice? A wine with a touch of residual sugar that offsets the spice and heat — say, a sweet to medium-dry riesling from the Mosel in Germany. A gewurztraminer from Alsace has a spicy flick and is top of class, but I’ve also enjoyed some delicious selections from the Santa Ynez Valley.

The easiest way to pair wine with Italian cuisine is to match the regional flavors of the dish with those of the local wine. Italian whites are extremely versatile. Be adventurous and explore such enchanting alternatives as Orvieto and greco di tufo from Central Italy; arneis, Gavi and Soave from the North. Among reds, Tuscan wines are widely satisfying, from the Chianti Classico region all the way up to rich, powerful “Super Tuscan” wines blending sangiovese with cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Barbera is another great, all-purpose wine with Italian cuisine, and I never pass up a special wine from Barbaresco or Barolo.


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