Buying good wine can be intimidating. Trying to find good and cheap wine can be even more daunting. Then, knowing what would be perfect to eat with it? Yikes.

Soliciting the help of two of the best foodies and wine connoisseurs I know, I received a crash course in easy food and wine pairings for summertime. Pairing food and wine really isn’t that difficult once you know what you’re doing, and doing so helps you get the most out of whatever you’re drinking and eating. Every wine listed is under $20 and each dish is easy enough to whip up but will still impress whomever you’re entertaining (even if it’s just yourself).

 

WINE

lifestyle wine food verdeo

Verdeo 2012 Verdejo- $10.99– This wine is from the region of Rueda in Spain. This wine would pair really nicely with a spicy dish. It would be great with a pasta arraibbiata, a thai curry or spicy shrimp dish. The acidity and minerality of verdejo wines can stand up to spices and cool the palate while the fruitiness is refreshingly zesty.

FOOD

lifestyle food wine spring rolls

FRESH SPRING ROLL WITH CILANTRO CHIMICHURI

​The crispness, citrus and tropical fruit notes of this Verdejo really make these fresh spring rolls sing; The spice of the chimichurri plays well with the acidity and minerality of the wine.  Both the verdejo and spring rolls are light, fresh and fun, making them a perfect pair for a summer soiree!

 TO MAKE CHIMICHURRI

INGREDIENTS

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro, trimmed of thick stems

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh mint

4-5 garlic cloves

4 Tbsps fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup sesame oil

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 teaspoon fish sauce or sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

 

METHOD

1 Process all herbs and garlic in a food processor with several pulses. Set aside in a medium sized bowl.

2 Stir in the sesame oil, vinegar, fish sauce or salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings.

 

TO MAKE SPRING ROLLS:

INGREDIENTS

6 rice wrappers (white or brown)

4oz vermicelli noodles (white or brown)

1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained, pressed dry and sliced or crumbled

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 cucumber or zucchini, cut into thin matchsticks

2 carrots, coarsely shredded

½ cup radishes, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded romaine or spinach

pea shoots or mung bean sprouts (optional)

 

1 In a medium bowl combine half of the Chimichurri, with the lettuce, carrots, radishes and cucumber. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to allow vegetables to soften slightly and absorb flavor from the sauce.  Cover and chill the remaining sauce until ready to serve.

2 Coat skillet with sesame oil and lightly pan fry tofu. (optional: add liquid braggs, salt or soy sauce to taste) set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel.

3 Put vermicelli noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.

4 Pour boiling water into a pie plate or large bowl and carefully dip a rice paper into the water; transfer to a clean plate. Let stand for several seconds to soften. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the vegetable mixture, vermicelli noodles and tofu just below the center of the rice paper, add pea shoots or sprouts. Tightly roll up rice paper from the bottom, tucking in one side at a time as you roll.

 

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