Perfect Pairings from Washington State

When it comes to pairing food with wine, our basic rule is to extend the flavors you find in a food with the flavors you find in a wine, or vice versa. Here are some wonderful wines from Washington with perfect pairing ideas to get you started.

Published: 1/13/2015

When it comes to pairing food with wine, our basic rule is to extend the flavors you find in a food with the flavors you find in a wine, or vice versa. So when you read a winemaker’s tasting notes, think of what kinds of food and spices might extend those flavors. Here are some wonderful wines from Washington with perfect pairing ideas to get you started.

2013 Columbia Crest Chardonnay
This Columbia Valley Chardonnay opens with intense aromas of apple and melon, joined by signature characters of crème brûlée, caramelized sugar, and butterscotch. Ripe orchard fruit flavors are joined by creamy, butter notes and balanced by lively acidity, creat- ing a rich, yet fresh wine. PERFECT PAIRINGS Cheesy pasta, crab cakes, pork tenderloin, chicken pot pie

2010 Hamilton Cellars White Wine
A unique blend of 83 percent Semillon and 27 percent Viognier. A food-friendly wine, with aromatic fruitiness from the Viognier and a nutty, fig-like aroma and flavor contribution from the Semillon. Aging in neutral oak barrels provides viscosity on the palate. PERFECT PAIRINGS Seafood salad, pasta primavera, goat cheese

2013 Mercer Estates Pinot Gris
This wine begins with bursting fruit on the nose. Fragrant honey- suckle leads into orange blossom and white peach. The ripe fruit fla- vors continue in the palate. The natural balance of fruit and bright acidity has created a wine that is lush and full with a fresh, bright fin- ish and a hint of minerality. PERFECT PAIRINGS Fresh grilled halibut, pasta with pesto sauce, feta cheese

2012 Seven Hills Riesling
The nose of this wine opens to fresh Granny Smith apple, nectarine, and honey hinted with vanilla and cardamom. The palate is crisp and bright up front, with honey spice and nectarine fruit followed by a clean, lovely mineral finish. PERFECT PAIRINGS Smoked sausage, sea bass, sweet barbecue

2013 Tsillan Cellars Estate Sempre Amore
This crisp, refreshing dry white wine—a blend of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Gewürztraminer—displays fresh and vibrant aromas of apple, peach, and pear on the bouquet with wel- come flavors of fruit cocktail, honeydew melon, candied tangerine, and a little rose petal in the finish. PERFECT PAIRINGS Fruit platters, fresh tortellini and cheese in white sauce, fresh seafood

2011 Desert Wind Ruah
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, this dry red wine has aromas and flavors of dusty coffee bean, blackberry, smoky cedar, ripe black fruit, dark chocolate, and earth, with a long, lingering finish. PERFECT PAIRINGS Roasted meats, tuna, pasta in marinara sauce

2011 L’Ecole No 41 Cabernet Sauvignon
With an elegant, Old World structure, this sophisticated Cabernet shows aromas of dark fruit, earth, and baking spices. A robust core of blackberry and plum with notes of currant, cedar, and tobacco are framed with polished tannins on a rich, harmonious finish. PERFECT PAIRINGS Rib eye steak, beef stew, swordfish, bittersweet chocolate

2012 Isenhower Cellars River Beauty Syrah
The nose is a piercing collection of soy, violets, clove, and blackber- ry liquor. It is seamless, rich, big, and textured with flavors that build from the front to explode on the finish with blackberries, cinnamon, clove, and smoke. PERFECT PAIRINGS Grilled lamb chops with corn polenta, mushroom bacon ragout

2012 J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot
A basket full of red and blue fruits led by boysenberries, maraschino cherries, and raspberry purée shadowed by scents of roses and san- dalwood and subtle hints of cola and graphite. On the palate; the wine begins with a sweet, lush softness; expands throughout the mid- palate, and stays on course displaying a variety of red and blue fruits with secondary and tertiary flavors of figs and sage shadowed by smoky caramel, Baker’s chocolate, and vanilla beans. PERFECT PAIRINGS Grilled meats, tuna, spaghetti Bolognese

2012 Maryhill Winery Winemaker’s Red
This multi–award-winning red wine is layered with jammy, red fruit flavors. Lined with hibiscus, tar, and sweet cedar notes, this wine offers a pleasing and finish. PERFECT PAIRINGS Pizza, pasta, burgers

2011 Matthews Estate Claret
Elegant mixture of currants, strawberries, and spice. Plums and plum skin weave underneath, giving great depth. Red flowers creep in, creating a soft plushness to the profile. The palate is round and soft with great texture and presence. Hints of chocolate and red berries resonate at the finish. Extremely silky and polished. PERFECT PAIRINGS Roast turkey with herb butter, roasted carrots, and mashed potatoes; spaghetti with marinara sauce

2008 Three Rivers Winery Svelte, Columbia Valley
This profound blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec presents aromas of currant, cedar, meat, and fruit that define the nose. The palate includes all of the above plus black cherries, coffee, and vanilla cream. While it is richly textured, the abundant tannins suggest a long and glorious life span. PERFECT PAIRINGS Duck, blue cheese, pasta with béarnaise sauce, chocolate truffles

As seen in the issue Spring 2015 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.