End-Of-Summer Wine Pairings (Slideshow)

Asparagus and Eggs

Rioja pairing: Both asparagus and eggs are notorious for being difficult to pair with wine because they both contain sulfurous elements that can make wine taste vegetal, but difficult does not mean impossible!  Try this dish with a bright, fruity Rioja rosé, you will not be disappointed.

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Corn Pudding

Rioja Pairing: The bright acid from the tomatoes and lime juice in this dish would pair well with an unoaked white Rioja. White Riojas that undergo stainless-steel fermentation but have no oak contact tend to be bright and refreshing summer quenchers.

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Try it With: Luis Alegre White Viura

This wine is noted for its fruitiness and freshness. Alcoholic fermentation of this wine is developed at a cool and absolutely-controlled temperature (16ºC), to preserve all the primary flavours of the Viura and Malvasia grapes, with clear fruit hints, notably the citrus range and different apple varieties.


Rioja pairing: The acid from the sherry vinegar and tomatoes would pair well with the bright fruit of a young red Rioja, or the crisp acidity of a chilled un-oaked white.

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Pizza Bianco

Rioja Pairing: This is a very neutral dish, so it can be served with just about any wine you like, even the wine you used for the base of the dough.

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Try it With: Vivanco Blanco 2012

A clear and bright wine with a pale lemon colour with slight green hints indicating its youthfulness. Intense and elegant aromas of green apple, citrus fruits, pineapple and some floral hints that round out the varietal expression. The palate has the same bright fruit flavours as the nose, balanced with the acidity resulting in a very pleasant, fresh finish.

Shrimp and Honeydew Salad with Warm Rioja Dressing

Rioja Pairing: The richness of shellfish does very well with oaked wines.  Try this with a barrel-fermented white Rioja or a light red, such as a Crianza.

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Try it With: Inspiracion Valdemar Tempranillo Blanco 2011

This 100 percent white Tempranillo is barrel-fermented in French oak, and has plenty of intense tropical aromas. 

Skirt Steak

Rioja Pairing: The deep beefiness of this cut of meat really calls for a red wine.  The tertiary aromas of leather and cigar present in many aged, Riojas such as a Gran Reserva, would be an excellent complement to this dish.  Or, serve this with the wine used for the marinade.

Click here for the recipe.