Wine Wednesday: Practice your pairings with Waterbrook Winery - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wine Wednesday: Practice your pairings with Waterbrook Winery

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WALLA WALLA, WA - It's Wine Wednesday, and this week Reporter Rex Carlin visited Waterbrook Winery just outside of Walla Walla to learn how to pair food with wine this holiday season.

Pairing your meals with a proper wine can seem like a daunting task, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, Rex found this week's Wine Wednesday panel of experts to steer you in the right direction.

Waterbrook Winery Head Winemaker John Freeman and Corporate Chef Skyeler Milgate selected several pairings, as well as their own personal Thanksgiving pairing selections, to show you.

First, they started off with a light and well-seasoned butternut squash dish.

''This is gonna go really nicely with anything that's light, crisp," said Milgate. "The butteriness of the Chardonnay really compliments this.''

There's lesson one: lighter, vegetable-based dishes pair well with lighter wines such as Chardonnay.

The pairing won't fill you up before the main course, so you can continue into the evening without feeling full.

Next, we switch gears with some French onion soup. A dish this versatile needs a wine that can keep up, and Freeman has the perfect pairing for it.

''The beauty of red blends is you can take many varietal wines and they all compliment each other," he said. "We have Cabernet in it, we have Syrah in it, we have Grenache in it, and all the flavors compliment each other. And it's very round, it's very smooth in your mouth, and it's non-threatening. It goes very well with food.''

Think of blends as do-everything wines; they provide the best aspects of the grapes represented in them without committing too far into any one aspect of the ingredients.

Finally, with Thanksgiving just over a week away, what do Freeman and Milgate think about pairing wine with the biggest feast of the year?

"I'd probably go with a Sangeovese," Milgate said. "A very mild or light red wine, something that's not going to overpower everything."

"The good way to do it is everybody that comes to dinner brings a bottle," Freeman suggested. "See what you like.''

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