How to Pair Wines With Easy Weeknight Meals
You know the feeling. Rush-mode has been dialed to a ten since breakfast and it’s already time to get something going for dinner. It’s only Tuesday evening but it feels like you’ve already worked a full week. These are the nights when supper must be undemanding, comforting, and tasty. Eating over the sink or in front of the screen might seem like the easy way out, but it’s infinitely better to recharge at the table with a flavorful meal and a glass of wine.
To get there, choose a recipe that requires a few short moments of prep and minimal cookware and utensils like pizzas, one-pot meals, and sheet pan recipes. This style of cooking tends to be versatile, allowing you to make a meal with a few staples and whatever else you have in the kitchen. They are easier to clean up, and provide hands-off time in the oven so you can take those few minutes and do something else around the house.
Don’t skip the wine. If this seems like too much work, then you’re doing it wrong. This should be the easiest part of the evening. Don’t worry about pairing flavors on the plate and in the glass, instead aim for versatile wines that basically go with everything. To do this, avoid extremes. Try not to choose anything too bold, sweet, or expensive. Look for bottles that have refreshing qualities and balanced acids and tannins. These wines can be red, white, rosé, or bubbly.
We find that red blends, such as those from Côte du Rhone, often fit the bill, as do white blends from California, because they are crafted for balance and probably have harmonious elements from several varieties. Wines from Portugal, which are often blends of native varieties, tend to be versatile and priced right too. Pinot Noir is considered to be one of the most food-friendly varieties, with high acid that balances out any fat in many dishes, as is dry or off-dry Riesling. Rosé, with refreshing acidity and balanced fruit, also tends to be very food-friendly, and doubles as a great pre-dinner aperitif.
When you find a bottle like this, make a note to grab a few. This is like a house wine for you, something that you love to drink, but that requires zero decision-making. Set the table with classic dishware and flatware and use a cloth napkin. Pop the wine while you chop and prep, and by the time dinner comes out of the oven, hot and ready, your meal and wine will put a reset on the day and deliver the calm and tasty evening you deserve.