This season, pour warming reds and whites bold enough to accompany hearty, cold-weather menus.
Making a Match
When chosen wisely, wine makes almost any meal even better. Plentiful selections at the store needn't daunt you: Select a bottle (you can find many good ones for about $10) that matches the tone and depth of flavor of your recipes. Winter's roasts, stews, and soups -- fragrant with herbs -- work with big reds, but many whites taste nice as well, especially with veggie-packed, health-minded dishes.
Take Your Pick
Among the reds, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Australian Shiraz will stand up to the meatiest of meats-think steak or lamb. Some chicken dishes pair with whites: Chicken Parmesan (page 101) would go well with a lighter Chardonnay or Viognier. Others are better with reds: Coq au Vins layers of taste (page 107) come out with a deep Pinot Noir or Burgundy. We like a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with halibut (page 55) or other mild white fish. Don't shy away from asking the wine shop clerk for recommendations, and experiment to find what pleases your taste buds most.
Cheers to Health
Having a glass of wine with dinner or hors doeuvres is actually virtuous. Numerous studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption to a lower risk of heart disease. For women, that means savoring one 4-ounce glass of wine per day (men can have two). Red wine also contains protective antioxidants called flavonoids.