While some may suggest that a meal should speak for itself, the right pairing of beverage to the flavors of a dish can elevate the experience. Arlene’s meals are delicious with just a cool glass of water. Still, the right glass of wine or bottle of beer can add to the flavors of our recipes. Here is a guide to suggested wines, beers and even non-alcoholic alternatives best suited for each of our meals.
Our meals are already packed full of flavor. These dishes contain heat, spice and acidity that stand on their own. A light, fruity white or dry buttery one would taste beautiful next to the meals listed below. A non-alcoholic option to these might be a light, sparkling juice. If you’d like something more bitter, a flavored seltzer, and for something sweeter, try a sparkling juice. If you’re feeling particularly creative, try mixing your own combination of a citrus juice and seltzer.
Falafel - This calls for fruity. Try a Grenache Blanc, Viogner or Sauvignon Blanc.
Kibbeh - The pine nuts in Kibbeh would pair well with a nutty Fiano.
Truffle and Cabbage Gyoza - Match the richness of truffle with a buttery Chardonnay.
Chili Gyoza - The kick of the chili would do well with a sparkling champagne.
Tom Yum Spring Roll - The flavor of Tom Yum and freshness of a spring roll pair well with a Vinho Verde.
Vegetable Spring Roll - A fresh and sweet Kabinett Riesling for the vegetable spring rolls.
Siew Mai - For these dumplings, look for a German Riesling.
Here you’ll find your Rosés. Not only will a glass of any of these beverages be a wonderful compliment to the food you serve with it, but will also provide an aesthetic addition to your table setting. Use it as inspiration for the evening and decorate with the trendy millennial-pink. Post a photo your meal in pink and tag #ArleneWorld to show us!
Green Bean Gyoza- For this plate, a fruity Rosé would work well.
Dan Dan Sauce with Noodles - Add some sparkles to your noodles with Rosé Champagne.
While flavorful heat and spice can call for a mild beverage companion, in some cases something with equal body is a perfect match. These meals will shine with the depth of flavor a red wine can bring to your table. A non-alcoholic alternative would be something equally rich - a dark roast coffee, black tea or latte of either. A dark, bitter juice such as cranberry or pomegranate could also take their place. If you’re looking for a red wine and vegetarian food pairing, we have several recommendations below.
Classic Kebab - For the Classic Kebab, try a classic Merlot.
Spicy Kebab - With the added spice, a Cabernet Sauvignon will meet the intensity.
Kebab with Biryani Rice - Pinot Noir, definitely.
Vegetable Dumpling with Szechuan Sauce - The bold flavor of the Szechuan Sauce would do well with a lower-tannin red, such as a Gamay.
Chili Sin Carne with Rice - With the Chili Sin Carne, a Pinot Noir originating from a cooler climate, such as a Spanish Garnacha, would pair perfectly.
If wine is not what you reach for when picking a drink, these options may be more appealing. These dishes would be enjoyed with the earthy flavors of a beer. A non-alcoholic alternative might be a ginger beer or other ginger beverage.
Kebab with Pistachio - The nutty flavor of pistachio would be complimented by a rich, dark beer such as a milk or oatmeal Stout.
Classic Kebab - Another dark beer, specifically a Lager would be perfect.
Spicy Kebab - Either a milk Stout or Lager would balance the spice of this kebab.
Too often, meals can be a rushed activity, squeezed in between the long list of daily tasks. Giving yourself the gift of sitting down and taking time to enjoy a meal can help reduce stress both mentally and on your stomach. A quality beverage can help you take this time and truly enjoy it. Arlene provides the food with easy preparation, you choose the wine, beer or beverage to treat yourself to a full dining experience.
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The Christmas season is the perfect time to gift the earth-loving people in your life with a token of appreciation. The planet has given us so much – let’s return the favor!