9 Favorite Wine-Pairing Recipes of 2023

9 Favorite Wine-Pairing Recipes of 2023

In 2023, we made sure that home cooks had quite the menu to impress the gourmets and wine lovers in their lives. We offered recipes for each season and every occasion, including contributions from leading chefs and hospitality groups. Of course, our expert tasters came up with plenty of wine pairings to accompany these dishes. What were your favorite recipes of the past 12 months? Read on and find out!

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 Stuffed mushroom–inspired pasta on a plate next to a wedge of Parmigiano cheese and a glass of light red Lambrusco wine

A slightly effervescent Lambrusco, made in either a light red or dark rosé style, complements this dish’s combination of savory and fresh flavors. (Julie Harans)

This easy dinner takes all the elements of a stuffed mushroom appetizer—sausage, breadcrumbs, herbs and the mushrooms themselves—and combines them into a pasta dish to make a hearty, full entrée, one that’s delectable with a Lambrusco wine pairing. The sausage here provides a really delicious foundation of flavor for a light sauce that coats the pasta.

As for the mushrooms, the point here is to get them tender and meaty, rather than crispy. The crispiness will come from the breadcrumbs; not only do they provide a pleasing textural element and an extra salty-buttery note, but they also help significantly with the visual presentation. And there’s another trick that will add even more flavor …

Posted Nov. 14, 2023

 Chicken pot pie next to a plate of chicken pot pie and a glass tumbler of white wine

A simple homemade crust saves money and adds flavor to this pot pie that goes from stovetop to oven in one dish. (Rebecca Firkser)

Can you think of a cozier meal than chicken pot pie to dive into on a cold winter’s evening? Hearty and flavorful, this one-pan dish needs little more to accompany it than a good glass of wine, such as a Grüner Veltliner from Austria. With a green salad on the side, it becomes a meal that easily serves six people—with a low price tag.

This dish is relatively classic in flavor and presentation, with a few updates. It’s made in a skillet (as opposed to a pie plate or casserole dish) that goes directly from the stovetop to the oven, with no soggy bottom crust to worry about. Instead of sweet peas and carrots, you’ll use hearty greens, which add heft and a subtle bitterness to cut through the creamy filling. Tender, store-bought rotisserie chicken provides a shortcut and extra flavor, but any simply cooked chicken you have on hand will do nicely. While you could use premade pie dough or puff pastry crust to save time, if you’re looking to save money, go homemade, which runs you less than $2. This buttery, black pepper–flecked pie crust is significantly more exciting than store-bought offerings.

Even better, you won’t believe how quickly you can prepare this pie!

Posted Jan. 4, 2023

 Savory Herb-Crusted Roast Saddle of Spring Lamb with Slow-Cooked Yukon Gold Potatoes Boulangère, with glasses and a decanter filed with red wine

It’s hard to say no to lamb roast bathed in a citrus-olive jus. (Aubrey Pick)

Springtime is a terrific time to show off your cooking chops to friends and family. Here’s a menu to help you do just that, brought to us by California’s Bacchus Group, the hospitality team behind Wine Spectator Grand Award winners the Village Pub and Spruce. “Whenever we cook a spring meal together, we focus on fresh and light flavors, ingredients that need to be treated delicately and simply,” says Bacchus partner Tim Stannard. “No long-simmering braises; instead, think fresh cherries tossed with sweet wine and lamb rolled in a cloud of fresh herbs.”

This approach is certainly on display in these dishes, including a carpaccio of Champignon de Paris mushrooms with watermelon radishes, brioche croutons, young fava beans and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette, which pairs deliciously with white wines like Rías Baixas and Grüner Veltliner. The hand-cut spaghetti alla chitarra—a carbonara-style pasta with sweet peas, pancetta and fresh ricotta—is delicious with a rosé from France or California. Meat lovers shouldn’t miss the savory, herb-crusted roast saddle of spring lamb with potatoes boulangère and a citrus-olive jus, delectable alongside a Merlot-based red. And we haven’t even gotten to the dessert!

From Wine Spectator’s May 31, 2023, issue

 Rhubarb tart in a glass dish and bowls of tart and ice cream

Fresh rhubarb is sealed in a caramel-like “crust” that comes together quickly on the stove. (Julia Larson)

Showing up in markets from April into June, hearty and tangy rhubarb is a harbinger of warm weather and its accompanying flush of produce. With its tartness, rhubarb helps buoy subtler, delicate and lingering flavors. (Think of the magic that is strawberry and rhubarb, or rhubarb with luscious custard.) And with that element of high acidity, rhubarb desserts can be excellent pairings for sparkling wines, such as the Gruet Blanc de Blancs American NV.

When choosing your stalks for this cobbler, don’t fret about the color; there’s not a significant difference in taste among deep magenta, pink and light green rhubarb, though they are different varieties. There’s also another important ingredient you’ll want for this recipe (which you can also serve over pancakes). See what it is!

Posted April 11, 2023

 An image of Eric Ripert next to an image of his mushroom Bolognese pasta

Seafood legend Eric Ripert may seem like he’s branching out with his veggie-centric cookbook, but the chef has been closely connected to produce-focused cuisine since childhood. (Nigel Parry)

Not only is this pasta a delicious meal for winter holiday celebrations, it’s also comforting all through the cold months. And it comes from Eric Ripert, the chef behind New York City Grand Award winner Le Bernardin, where he is renowned for his seafood. But vegetables are what stand out in his mind when he thinks back to his childhood in southern France. Recalling a veggie-heavy diet and trips to the market with his grandmother, Ripert says, “The cooking was very simple, but it was about highlighting the quality of the vegetables.”

That approach is on display in this dish from Ripert’s Vegetable Simple cookbook, which demonstrates that veggies, treated correctly, can be exciting stand-ins for hearty proteins. His mushroom-based version of Bolognese, served over tagliatelle or another pasta, is simple to put together, with very satisfying and wine-friendly results. Ripert particularly enjoys it with a robust Italian red, such as a Sangiovese-based blend from Tuscany.

Posted Dec. 17, 2021

 A plate of stracatto di manzo next to a bowl of rigatoni pasta

As both a primi and secondi course, this beef stew is fantastic for feasting during the holidays. (Kristin Teig)

Over the years and through her several cookbooks, Leah Koenig has gained a reputation for her explorations of Jewish culinary traditions within the modern diaspora. Her latest cookbook Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen takes a deep dive into the distinctive food of one community rooted in more than 2,000 years of history, hardship and faith.

Enjoy a taste of Roman Jewish cuisine with this stracotto di manzo from Koenig. What makes this dish so holiday-friendly is that it can easily be stretched into two courses, Roman-style: Koenig likes to use some of the stew’s juices to coat a batch of rigatoni for an easy and simple primi, reserving the meat and vegetables for the secondi. She recommends using the same wine in the stew as the one to be served with the meal, preferably a drier-style red.

Posted Sept. 12, 2023

 A bowl of potato salad beside glasses of pink wine, crackers, strawberries and grapes

No summertime spread is complete without a simple potato salad and plenty of rosé. (Julia Larson)

A wise person once said: “Grilling is only as good as its side dishes.” Well, if they didn’t, they should have. To many, potato salad is a fixture of American cookout-culture, but we can do better than a plastic pint from the supermarket deli. On Fourth of July, put together this simple, yet crowd-pleasing German potato salad, which comes together in just over 30 minutes, and is a stellar match for the refreshing rosés you’re likely already planning to pour.

Because this recipe is so simple—only six ingredients total—don’t hesitate to make it a bit more hedonistic. Use thick-cut, woodsmoked bacon to render more flavor. And here’s how to amp up the dressing!

Posted June 27, 2023

 An image of Toya Boudy next to an image of crab cakes

Author and educator Toya Boudy has gone from corner-store cooking to appearances on the Food Network and Hallmark Channel. (Courtesy of W.W. Norton)

In her new cookbook, Cooking for the Culture: Recipes and Stories from the Streets of New Orleans to the Table (Countryman Press), Toya Boudy traces the culinary history and traditions of the Black community in the Big Easy. Moving beyond beignets and Bourbon Street, hot sauce and Hurricanes, Boudy aims to show the distinctive style of home cooking that she grew up with. “There’s a more full-bodied flavor that comes from home cooking in New Orleans,” explains Boudy.

While Boudy smilingly calls the Mardi Gras celebrations of her youth “hardcore,” these days she takes it a bit easier. On the actual day of Fat Tuesday, she’s likely to have people over for dinner, making something upscale yet New Orleanian, like these Louisiana-style crab cakes with a lemon-caper sauce, delicious with a wide variety of sparkling and white wines.

Boudy’s number one tip? Don’t skimp on the crab.

Posted Feb. 17, 2023

 A yellow Dutch oven of beef stew next to glasses of red wine

This stew, perfect for serving in the wintertime, draws inspiration from Southern France and Northern Spain. (Julia Larson)

Julia Child could really do no wrong, especially when it comes to large, luxurious stews. They’re decadent and hearty, ideal for comforting a crowd, but, boy, do they use a lot of pans and take a lot of time.

Inspired by the Catalan-style rice and beef stews that are prominent in the small French province of Roussillon, Boeuf à la Catalane is a deep cut from Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you want to capture that magic, here is a variation that is particularly well-suited for those cooking in smaller kitchens. This recipe cuts down on the number of pans and carefully increases the heat to slash the cooking time, creating an end-of-winter feast with much less hassle. (Apologies to Julia).

Another major change from the original recipe is opting for red wine rather than white to deglaze the bottom of the pan. (While you could obviously choose a hearty red from Southern France, we opted to pair this with a Spanish pick: A Tempranillo from Rioja.) And that’s not the only difference …

Posted March 7, 2023