Pairing food and wine can be something of a mystery to most people, but Kathleen Erickson, aka “The Wine PhD,” is here to help.
Erickson, owner of Savour Wine and Cheese in Gloucester, has many years of experience as a wine connoisseur and is particularly well-versed in pairing food and wine.
For this wine pairing, Erickson analyzes the different flavors in a delicious quinoa salad that she prepared. Erickson explains the reasons behind her wine selection and how its flavors best complement the quinoa salad.
The quinoa salad is a fresh mix of vegetables and quinoa, which is an ancient grain-like plant with edible seeds that are high in protein and fiber. This dish has many different levels of flavor to it, from tomato, onion, and cucumber, to quinoa, pepper, and fresh herbs. At first it seems like a complicated task to find one wine to complement all of these ingredients, but Erickson walks us through this process.
Because the quinoa possesses an anise, or mint, taste, Erickson chooses a riesling, a type of white grape from the Rhine region of Germany. Erickson says that Riesling is the most important food wine because it can go with so many flavors and dishes. It is known to have an apple-pear profile.
Erickson suggests pairing this refreshing quinoa salad with a glass of Riesling and, for dessert, a crisp apple to get the full effect of this food and wine pairing.
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cucumber, diced
1 small red onion, finely minced
2 cups Kumato tomatoes (brown tomatoes), chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, mint, or parsley, chopped, plus several sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish