Pacific Rim
September 30, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is The Best Wine with Salad?

Ask ten wine experts which wine is best paired with a salad, and you will likely get a hundred different answers. The salad may sound like a simple dish, but it has many ingredients that can influence the taste. Besides the proteins, veggies, fruits, cheeses, and possible nuts, you also have to consider dozens of dressings, all of which have a different taste. 

gourmet caesar salad with glass of white wine

Hence, there is no one particular wine that goes with every salad.  It all depends on the type of salad and the dressing. Here are some simple guidelines that will help you pair your favorite wine with salad.

  1. In general, if a dish is light, you also want to pair it with a light-bodied wine and vice versa. If a dish is heavier, pair it with a heavier wine.
  2. Salads are considered to be a low-calorie dish with ingredients that are usually not overpowering to the palate. In such scenarios, a light-bodied red (e.g., Gamay, Lambrusco, Grenache) or light-bodied white wine (e.g., Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc) will pair well.
  3. Anytime you have a main course that includes a meat dish (like steak, lamb, or barbecued meats), you need to match the wine to the meat and not the veggies. In this case, the best pairing is a light-bodied wine, like Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, or Riesling.
  4. If you like to add vinegar to your salad, this flavoring will alter the taste balance by accentuating the tannins in red wines and making the white wines taste very sweet. To minimize the impact of vinegar, you may want to mix it with a creamy dressing (e.g., ranch, blue cheese, etc...) or blend it in the leftover meat juices. Or you may want to try a less harsh vinegar, like cider or rice vinegar.
  5. If you love herbs, onions, and pickles in your salads, these foods can be overpowering and minimize the flavor of light wines. Therefore, you will need to pair them with wines having high levels of acidity or dry wines. Some great dry red wines include Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet; the dry white wines include Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris.
  6. If you like to eat a fruity salad, they match well with fruity wines, like Moscato, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Gamay. However, the key is to ensure that the wine has a different fruity flavor to the fruit in the salad.
  7. If there is more than one salad type with all flavors, then the best choices are the fruity red wines (e.g., Merlot, Grenache, Moscato) or a fruity white wine (e.g., Riesling, Vin Santo, Chardonnay).
  8. For a Chicken Caesar Salad wine pairing, you’ll find Chardonnay to be a good match with its light oaked notes.  If the chicken in the Caesar Salad wine pairing is chargrilled, you’ll want to go with a fuller-bodied wine.  Dry Rose and Oaked Sauvignon Blanc are good choices as well.

In the end, it is all a matter of personal preference and what wine is available. If you are unsure what wine with salad works, go with ice wine, and you will never go wrong. Some great ice wines that go with all types of salads include the Wagner Riesling, Jackson Triggs Vidal, Kiona Ice Wine, Wagner Vidal Blanc, and a 2016 Hahn Hill Vineyard Ice Wine Riesling.  Look to Pacific Rim & Company for answers to your wine pairing questions.  They are very knowledgeable about all types of wines.

Time Posted: Sep 30, 2021 at 6:42 AM Permalink to What is The Best Wine with Salad? Permalink
Pacific Rim
September 22, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is The Best Wine to Pair with Steak?

If there is one iconic food that is usually served with wine, it has to be steak. The right wine will allow you to taste all the flavors of the steak and enhance the dining experience. However, for the steak to be enjoyed thoroughly, one must pair it with the right wine. What wine goes with steak? It depends on the cut of meat and how it is prepared. Here are some basic rules about steak and wine pairing.

grilled rib eye steak with red wine

  1. In general, when eating meat products, select a dry red wine. If you are consuming a steak, go with red wine. 
  2. If the steak is lean, it goes best with a light wine.
  3. If the steak has a lot of fat to it, you will want to pair it with a less robust, lighter wine to keep the richness of the flavor in check. If the wine is full-bodied, you will never get to experience the flavor of the steak. Or you may want to select a red wine with high acidity to amplify the spices and aroma of the steak.
  4. If the steak is mildly flavored and somewhat sweet, you should avoid a sweet wine and select one rich in tannins.
  5. If you like things simple and have cooked a steak with just salt and pepper, you are virtually free to select any light red or white wine. Steaks marinated with just salt and pepper tend to generate a variety of aromas, all of which can be accentuated by light wines.
  6. If you are consuming a heavily seasoned steak with aromatic spices and herbs, then go with a light, fruity, and sweet wine, as this will augment the taste of the meat.
  7. Steak sauces can make a difference in the best wine to pair with steak.  If the sauce is red and rich, it will need a Malbec or good red Bordeaux to accompany it.  If the steak has a sauce with peppercorns, choose the Rhône that is ripe or a Languedoc.  For lighter sauces, a Pinot Noir would be a good choice.

So Which Wines Should You Select?

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine globally. Even though it originated in France, it is produced in many other nations, including Washington, Australia, China, South Africa, and Chile. Cabernet is a very versatile wine, and it can be paired with many foods. It is the ideal wine for novices. The high acidity of the wine will slice through a fatty and spicy steak, generating a soft, tangy taste.
  2. Zinfandel is another excellent wine that is more sweet than acidic. However, do not choose Zinfandel if your steak has been marinated with sweet seasoning. It goes best with steaks with a spicy and exotic taste. The sweetness of the wine will balance the spice and make each bite delicious.
  3. Malbec is a medium-body red wine that is rich in tannins. It tends to have a fruity aftertaste and scent. Malbec is ideal for lean steaks, such as flank or sirloin. 
  4. Syrah (Shiraz) is a superb red wine that pairs best with ribeye steak, which tends to be heavier. Syrah is a robust wine that balances the richness of the fat and soothes the palate.
  5. Pinot Noir is a light to medium red wine with natural acidity and the scent of berries. It pairs well with lean steak that is cooked rare or medium-rare. The natural acidity will balance out any sweetness and bring out the juices in the steak with each bite.

What wine goes with steak?  Listed above are just some basic guidelines, and you are free to experiment and determine for yourself which you like best. There is no penalty for breaking the rules, and the more you mix and match, the more you will get to enjoy your food.  Discover what flavors you like best together, and if you have any questions, just ask a representative from Pacific Rim and Company. They are experts!

Time Posted: Sep 22, 2021 at 5:57 AM Permalink to What is The Best Wine to Pair with Steak? Permalink
Pacific Rim
September 17, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is The Best Wine Pairing for Spaghetti?

Spaghetti is one of the most loved dishes by people all over the world. Not only is it easy to cook, but the dish can be prepared in many ways.  Best of all, spaghetti is enjoyed with a glass of chilled wine. The best wine with spaghetti depends on the ingredients in your spaghetti dish.  Here are some tips on how to pair your pasta with wine:

spaghetti with wine

Spaghetti can be simple or very complex. The three things that can affect wine pairing include the sauce, use of exotic spices, and presence of meat.

If the spaghetti is simple and consists of tomato or creamy white sauce, the pairing should be with the sauce and not the pasta itself.

If the spaghetti has some type of meat, like meatballs, ground beef, chicken, seafood, etc., the wine pairing is usually synchronized with the flavor of the meat.

If you like to eat hot spaghetti with lots of spices, you should pair the wine to match the spices.

Since most kinds of pasta are made with an acidic tomato sauce, you need to pair it with an acidic red wine, preferably Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, or an acidic white wine, like Rose, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc. If you do not select an acidic wine, the taste will be bland.

If your spaghetti contains meat, you need to pair it with a medium or full-bodied wine (e.g., Chardonnay, White Rioja, Rhones whites, or Riesling).

If your spaghetti contains seafood, you should pair it with a light-bodied wine that will not overpower the flavor of the seafood. Great wine pairings include Pinot Grigio, Gamay, Pinotage, Rose, Chablis, etc.

If your spaghetti dish is simple and cheese-based, any light-bodied white (e.g., Chardonnay, Riesling) or red wine (e.g., Pinot Noir, Lambrusco) will enhance the creaminess of the cheese. 

Wine pairing with spaghetti dishes that contain exotic spices and herbs pair best with light to medium-bodied wines, like Merlot, Soave, Sangiovese, etc.

If you are into veggie spaghetti and want to retain the freshness and flavor of vegetables, pair it with a light-bodied wine, like Soave, Chardonnay, Riesling, etc.

Finally, if you are into hot and spicy spaghetti, select a light-bodied wine that will not overpower the dish’s flavor. Dry white wines, like Riesling, or a light red, like Zinfandel, will help you enjoy the spicy dish.

There is no set rule on pairing wine with spaghetti.  The best wine with spaghetti depends on the spaghetti dish itself.  What you do not want to do is have a flavorful spaghetti dish compete with a full-bodied wine. If the spaghetti is hot, spicy, or contains meat, pair it with a light-bodied wine so that the wine does not overpower the flavors of the food. If the spaghetti is simple, you can choose to pair it with almost any type of wine.

Time Posted: Sep 17, 2021 at 5:36 AM Permalink to What is The Best Wine Pairing for Spaghetti? Permalink
Pacific Rim
September 16, 2021 | Pacific Rim

How Many Calories are in a Glass of Riesling?

Close to 42 percent of the U.S. is considered obese, and the numbers are set to increase within the next 5 years. Obesity is not a benign disorder and can lead to serious complications. Today, many people have become weight conscious and watch what they eat and drink. Knowing the calorie count of the beverages they drink is very helpful for those trying to prevent weight gain. 

hand with a glass of white wine

How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Riesling?  

Other than water, almost every beverage, including colas, beers, and wine, has calories. For a wine like Riesling, the number of calories depends on the amount of sugar and alcohol in the beverage. In general, the higher the alcohol by volume (ABV) in a wine, the greater the calories. This is because every gram of alcohol contains calories. Some wines are sweet and have low alcohol content. In this case, each gram of sugar will contain 4 calories. However, wines can contain anywhere from 1-8 grams of sugar.

A 5-ounce glass of wine is equivalent to about 150 ml (equal to one glass). On average, most wines contain between 100-130 calories. But the problem is many people drink wine several times a week, and during each sitting, will consume two to three glasses; that equals about 350 calories per sitting. This amounts to about one-fifth of the total recommended caloric intake of about 1,800 calories/day.

One of the simplest ways to calculate the number of calories in 5 ounces of wine (150 ml) is to look at the label for the alcohol content (ABV) and multiply by 12. For example, if a wine contains 12% ABV, multiply this by 12, which equals 144 calories.

Ranking of Wines by Calorie Content:

  1. Overall non-alcoholic wine has the least amount of calories. A glass of non-alcoholic wine will only provide 9 calories.
  2. Light wines, such as Pinot Grigio, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc, usually have an ABV of 6.5%, and they provide about 74 calories.
  3. Medium-bodied wines usually have an ABV of 10-12.5% and provide between 120-140 calories. Most wines fall in this range.
  4. Heavy-bodied wines usually have an ABV greater than 14% and provide a minimum of 168 calories.
  5. Some sweet dessert wines contain both alcohol and sugars and can contain over 230 calories in one glass.

Of course, the more wine you drink, the more calories you add to your diet.

While it is nice to drink wine, one should not supersize the beverage and limit the frequency of drinking. For good health, it is recommended that men should consume no more than 1-2 glasses of wine per day, and women should drink 1 glass per day. At the same time, eat healthily and exercise regularly.

On average, there are about 120 calories in a glass of Riesling. In a chart of wines listed by calories, Riesling is one of the ones with fewer calories, which means you can drink more glasses of Riesling wine, right?  That’s one way to look at it.  Pacific Rim and Company has been passionate about Riesling wines for nearly 30 years. If there’s anything you want to know about Riesling wines, just ask them. Also, check them out on Instagram at @pacificrimandco, Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.

Time Posted: Sep 16, 2021 at 1:35 PM Permalink to How Many Calories are in a Glass of Riesling? Permalink
Pacific Rim
September 8, 2021 | Pacific Rim

How Do I Know If My Riesling Is Sweet?

Aside from tasting the wine, how is it possible to tell if your wine is one of the sweet Riesling brands?  Riesling is a very flavorful aromatic wine that is native to Germany. The wine is known to possess a variety of fruity flavors, including apricots, peaches, pears, and apples.

White wine with grapes on old wooden table

Riesling wine is available in many flavors and styles, ranging from very dry to sweet dessert wines, including sparkling wine. It is one of the few white wines that can mature over many decades and has a distinct petrol aroma when aged. It is not always easy to tell from a label whether the Riesling is sweet or not.

Riesling wine is available as dry or sweet. But how does one tell if you have one of the sweetest Riesling brands?

Understanding the Fermentation Process

To understand why some wines are sweet, and others are acidic, it is important to know how riesling wine is made. Yeast is added to the crushed grapes during the fermentation process, which initiates a chemical reaction that converts the sugars released from grapes into alcohol. 

If the fermentation process is short, there will be lots of sugar leftover that have not been converted into alcohol, and the resulting wine will be sweet. On the other hand, if the fermentation process is prolonged, all the sugar will be converted into alcohol, and the wine will be very dry or full-bodied.

If all of the sugar in the wine is turned into alcohol, the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) will tend to be high, and the Residual Sugar (RS) will be low or zero. This would apply to a wine that was on the drier end of the spectrum. On the flip side, if there is a small amount of sugar left in the wine after the fermentation process, the ABV will be lower and the RS higher, which will result in a sweeter wine. If you are looking for a sweet Riesling brand, you can look for bottles with an ABV of 11% or lower and for a dry look for 14% and over. Remember, there can always be exceptions to the rule, though!

Know Where the Wine is From

Next, it is important to know where the wine is from. If the Riesling wine is from the French Alsace region, Austria, or Chile, it is most likely to be dry or acidic.  If the Riesling is from Australia, it will have citrus flavors, but maybe on the dry side. In addition, most of the Riesling wine made in California is also on the dry side.

If you want sweet Riesling, you need a Riesling wine from Germany or one from Washington state. In German, the label will indicate the following: 

1) Ripe Sweet Kabinett

2) Nectar Sweet Spatlese and Auslese

3) Syrup Sweet Beerenauslese Dessert-Style

Further, if the Riesling is from the Alsace region of France, the sweet wine label will indicate “Selection de Gran nobles” and “Vendange tardive.”

If all this sounds confusing, ask the server or the vendor if the wine is sweet. Or you can also call Pacific Rim and Company to speak to one of their knowledgeable wine representatives.  They will be happy to help in your quest of finding the sweetest Riesling brands. After all, their home state of Washington is the largest Riesling producer in the United States.

Time Posted: Sep 8, 2021 at 1:07 PM Permalink to How Do I Know If My Riesling Is Sweet? Permalink


Recent Posts