The Best Wine and Food Recipes From California Grown
Sometimes the thought of pairing wine and food recipes together can be a bit daunting. Epic wine and food pairings aren’t just for sommeliers, high-end restaurants, and extreme wine enthusiasts. They are for everyone! Join us as we explore the world of wines and learn how each varietal’s unique flavor notes pair with recipes.
September is California Wine Month! We invite you to join us in experiencing the excitement of the harvest.
The grape harvest in California usually begins in late August to early September and can last through November. The timing being dependent on two things, the weather and the grapes.
While our winegrowers and vineyard workers are busy at harvest, we hope you’re enjoying some California wines. In our opinion, there’s no better way to celebrate all the wines the Golden State has to offer than creating delicious wine pairings at home!
This post covers four of the region’s most popular wine selections and the flavors that pair best with them. With over a dozen different dynamic pairings to choose from, there is truly something for everyone.
Chardonnay has a wide range of flavor notes to consider when pairing with different recipes. From unoaked and fruit-forward with hints of minerality, to rich and toasty with vanilla and butter. The styles and aromas of California Chardonnay are diverse as the microclimates where it’s grown throughout the state. Fun fact: Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape in California!
Tasting notes for Chardonnay: This white wine pairs perfectly with white fish, shellfish, and free-range chicken recipes. Also, the flavors in Chardonnay become even more spectacular when you pair them with a creamy, buttery sauce.
You can go all the way with this wine and food recipe pairing by making the stuffed chicken breasts or you can simply serve our Artichoke and Spinach Dip with a toasted baguette and skip the chicken altogether.
Either way, the flavors and ultra creaminess of this recipe pair perfectly with a glass of Chardonnay.
Didn’t think you could pair chips and guac with wine? Think again!!!
This Charred Poblano Guacamole recipe from Hola Jalapeno has all the creamy avocado goodness you love plus charred bits of poblano pepper and jalapeños that take the flavor profile of this guac to a whole new level of delicious.
Bold and rambunctious, Zinfandel can take your palate on an adventure! From raspberry to black pepper, cloves, and licorice – each sip is a delight. Zinfandel grapes are one of California’s oldest and most revered vines. In fact, Zinfandel is California’s signature state winegrape. It’s also “America’s Heritage Grape” – which makes sense, since California produces over 80% of wine in the U.S.
Tasting notes for Zinfandel: This wine pairs perfectly with barbecued free-range beef, lamb, pork, chicken, or even a dish as robust as spicy sausage.
This plant-based recipe requires minimal ingredients and prep work, but the final dish tastes like it took hours to create!
Rich and garlicky with a sultry, robust flavor and just a hint of spice, this Melting Napa Cabbage recipe is the perfect pairing for Zinfandel’s big bold flavor.
This beautiful steak salad from No Crumbs Left is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed either grilled or pan-roasted then finished in the oven.
Sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and Green Goddess dressing make this hearty salad the perfect feast for pairing with a glass of Zinfandel.
The earthy flavors and vibrant hues of these lamb kabobs are the perfect pairing combination for a glass of Zinfandel.
Cabernet Sauvignon’s concentrated flavors mellow into a rich elegance as it ages. It has a firm, focused structure, lingering dark fruit (blackberry, blueberry, black currant), and hints of mocha and earth. It’s easy to see why this varietal is the bestselling red in the US and number two in California acreage.
Tasting notes for Cabernet Sauvignon: this full-bodied red wine is the perfect pairing for recipes calling for grass-fed beef – grilled, roasted, or braised. It is also perfect for bold-flavored recipes like these:
A full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect pairing for this retro redo chicken dinner. This recipe packs BIG, BOLD flavor with minimal effort.
This Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella recipe from This Mess is Ours is made with sweet prunes, green olives, and capers. That combination creates an irresistible flavor punch that we can’t get enough of.
This sour meets sweet-flavored oven-roasted relish is perfect on crostini, cheeseboards, or as a side dish on its own. It is also an exquisite pairing for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
This not-so-traditional take on a charcuterie board from The Delicious Life does double duty as an appetizer and dinner! Could this look any more delicious?
All the big, bold, bright flavors of this board are perfect companions for a glass or two of Cabernet Sauvignon from California.
Did you know sparkling wine has been produced in California since the 1870s?! It’s true! We know a thing or two about the crisp acidity of California sparkling wine, which pairs as easily with a mid-week dinner as it does a decadent dessert.
Tasting notes for California sparkling wine: A glass of this effervescent wine pairs with everything from Szechuan stir fry to triple crème cheeses.
Get ready for a wine and food pairing made in heaven! The effervescent bubbles of California sparkling wine pairs perfectly with juicy California berries and luscious lemon ricotta.
These treats are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a snack.
Wine cocktails are a new trend in the alcoholic beverage market and we are here for it!
In our latest wine cocktail creation, we paired jammy roasted grapes, woodsy rosemary, and bright fresh lemon with the effervescent bubbles of California sparkling wine.
It’s quite honestly pure magic for the tastebuds.
These sweet, tiny cranberry tarts from A Girl Defloured are packed with big flavor and are the perfect accompaniment to California sparkling wine.
You’ll love the easy tart shell, quickly made with crushed gingersnap cookies and butter and baked in a muffin tin. The filling is a no-bake creamy cheesecake base decadently flavored with a generous splash of Grand Marnier – these festive treats will be the star of the show.
We have navigated the world of pairings, now let’s brush up your basic wine knowledge!
Ever wonder, “What is the difference between organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wine?”
We could fill a book with the nuanced regulations surrounding these terms worldwide. Let’s start with what they mean here in California with this in-depth article from Aida of Salt & Wind.
You’ve navigated the pairings, learned about sustainability, and may have even discovered a new favorite wine in the process.
Now try exploring the vineyard, the winery, and the cellar!
Trust us, making your way around the California wine world is much easier when you know the basics and Discover California Wines has you covered.