July 10, 2014

What to pair with those summer wines

Go Columbia for July 10: Charleston Cooks! event

When it comes to pairing food with food, most of us have got it down pat: peanut butter and jelly, pie with ice cream, fries with ketchup. But ask us to pair food and wine and things seem to get a whole lot more complicated.

James Alford, the head wine buyer at Morganelli’s in Columbia, thinks that when it comes to wine, people get too stressed out about what goes with what. “We put lemon in our sweet tea because the lemon wakes up the flavor of the drink,” he explains. “Matching food and wine follows the same principle – you want to use one to enhance the other.”

If you’re still intimidated – but curious – here’s an easy way to learn the basics. On Thursday, July 10, Alford will host a summer wine workshop at the Columbia outpost of Charleston Cooks!

By pairing food with wine, people will gain a better sense of what goes together and why, explains Erin Eisele, culinary coordinator at Charleston Cooks! “Our Chef Milo Klos worked closely with James to create a menu that highlights each wine selection. James will lead the wine tasting, and Milo will be on hand to answer questions about the food preparation.”

The menu includes:

• Chive and Ham Gougeres with a Gruyere Mornay Drizzle paired with a light white wine
• Tuna Carpaccio with Orange, Parmesan, and Arugula with dry rose
• Open-Faced Meatball Sliders with a Strawberry Balsamic BBQ Sauce with a summer red
• Smoked Paprika Truffles with a Chocolate Cardamom Caramel with an Italian red

The class begins at 6:30 p.m. at Charleston Cooks!, located next to Whole Foods in the Cross Hill Market. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (803) 509-8111.

Katie McElveen, Special to The State

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