You probably already know that food and wine go together like lobster and butter, but you may not know what to make for dinner (or for that dinner party coming up this weekend).
What’s more: did you know that wine isn’t the only thing that pairs well with a meal? We’ve got our beer lovers covered too with thirst quenching beer pairings.
New England foodies rejoice, because we have some delicious meals (and drinks) for you. Here are 7 wine and beer pairings with classic New England dishes.
1. Maine Lobster
Food: Steamed Maine Lobster
Wine: Riesling or Chardonnay
Beer: Belgian Wheat, Session IPA, or Pilsner
A nice light seafood dish like our beloved Maine lobster deserves an equally light and fresh beverage.
Riesling or Chardonnay pairs nicely as these white wines aren’t going to detract from the fresh lobster. Plus, the oaky, buttery taste of Chardonnay undoubtedly stays in line with that melted butter you’re dipping with.
Meanwhile, a more bitter beer - like a Belgian Wheat, IPA, or Pilsner - balances the sweet lobster flavor, while remaining bold enough to give you all the taste of a delicious brew.
2. New England Clam Chowder
Food: New England Clam Chowder
Wine: Chardonnay (oaked), Viognier, or Pinot Gris
Beer: Traditional Stout, Irish Brown, or Lager
A bold, creamy chowder needs a complimentary drink that can stand up to it.
For a New England Clam Chowder, we love pairing a deeper, richer white wine: oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, or Pinot Gris. These heavier whites are light enough not to overpower the chowder, but rich and tart enough to complement it.
The beers of choice for a clam chowder - Stout, Irish Brown, or Lager - are strong enough to stand up to the hearty chowder but smooth and complex in their own right.
3. American Chop Suey
Food: American Chop Suey
Wine: Dry Riesling, Chardonnay, or Malbec
Beer: Dunkel, Bock, or Doppelbock
Influenced by Italian cuisine, this Americanized pasta dish has all the makings of a delicious - and easy - comfort food.
Pair your Chop Suey with a bold Malbec that goes well with the meat and sauce, a buttery Chardonnay that can stand right along with a pasta dish, or go with a subtle white like a Dry Riesling.
The beers you might enjoy with your Chop Suey include a Dunkel (a lager-style known to be well balanced) or a rich, malty Doppelbock. To add a bit of sweetness, give a Bock beer a try.
4. New England Boiled Dinner
Food: Boiled Dinner
Wine: Pinot Noir or Zinfandel
Beer: Irish Red
A traditional Boiled Dinner consists of corned beef or brisket with vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and potatoes and is the perfect warm, winter time meal.
With a warm, cozy meal, you’ll want the same from your wine. A full bodied Pinot Noir or Zinfandel will pair splendidly with the meat and vegetables in this New England dish.
Similarly, an Irish Red beer will be easy to drink, but leave you with subtly sweet caramel and spicy hops flavors.
5. Yankee Pot Roast
Food: Yankee Pot Roast
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon blend, Merlot, Syrah, or Zinfandel
Beer: Amber or Brown Ale
A Yankee Pot Roast isn’t just about the roast; it’s also about the fresh, delicious root vegetables that accompany it.
Choose either a spicy Syrah or Zinfandel, or a versatile Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon to balance both a roast and flavorful vegetables.
Meanwhile, a flavoral, hoppy Amber or Brown Ale will stand up to the bold flavors of a Yankee Pot Roast.
6. Fried Seafood
Food: Fried Seafood
Wine: Prosecco, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc
Beer: Pilsner or IPA (traditional)
Whether it’s beer battered and fried or plain ol’ fried, we don’t mess around when we’re talking about seafood here in New England.
A light, sweet Prosecco, Riesling, or even Sauvignon Blanc will pair beautifully with any seafood - from clams to shrimp to fish.
Full of flavorful hops, a light Pilsner or a traditional IPA, complete with more bitter notes, will also balance the sweet crunchiness of your fried seafood dish.
7. Yankee Shepherd's Pie
Food: Yankee Shepherd’s Pie
Wine: Bobal, Bordeaux, or Côtes du Rhône
Beer: Irish Stout
With a base of meat and potatoes, this feel-good meal will leave you full and satisfied...and so will the beer and wine we recommend pairing it with.
To pair wine with the Yankee Shepherd's Pie, consider the often unnoticed Spanish Bobal, a bold Bordeaux, or full bodied Côtes du Rhône.
For a beer pairing, the deep malt flavors of an Irish Stout will balance any rich creaminess of the Yankee Shepherd’s Pie.
Give these 7 New England recipes a try, along with a beer or wine pairing. We know you’ll love them just as much as we do!
Interested in learning more about beer and wine pairings from the experts? If you’re in Southern Maine, stop in and visit us at Perk’s or order online to have your beer or wine delivered in Scarborough or Old Orchard Beach!