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Classic and Creative Wine Pairings, Bartell’s Style!

Steak, gummy bears, crab cakes, tater tots and more!

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| August 7, 2020
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We know how challenging it can be to pick out your favorite wine from Bartell’s. With so many great bottles at ridiculously affordable prices, we know selection can be overwhelming. We’re here to help. You need recommendations and we’ve got favorites to share.

But selecting the right wine is just half the battle. Good wine goes best with great food, and with a diversity of tastes to satisfy, picking the perfect snack or meal can set the mood or cap off the perfect evening.

Here’s a list of classic and not-so-classic pairings to get the job done.

Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Cab  Charles Smith Chateau Smith Cabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon:

Bartell’s Favorites:
Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Cab
Charles Smith Chateau Smith Cabernet

Flavor profile: rich, medium to full-body, cherry, spicy

Steak: A full-bodied Cab sips fantastically with barbequed red meat. We recommend something hefty like a juicy ribeye or T-bone that won’t get pushed around by the Cab’s punchy, tannin-heavy notes.

Beef jerky: The not-so-juicy version of steak, aka beef jerky, also pairs nicely with a heavy Cab. The wine’s stone fruit and peppery notes balance well with the lean, saltiness of the jerky. Whatever your jerky leanings, make sure to grab something with enough kick to contend with the Cab.

We recommend:
Oberto (LOCAL!)
Tillamook (from OR)

Waterbrook Chardonnay Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay


Bartell’s Favorites:
Waterbrook Chardonnay
Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay

Flavor profile: crisp, dry, medium-body, apple

Crab Cakes: Whether it’s a Sunday brunch or a celebratory occasion, you can’t go wrong with a good bottle of dry WA Chardonnay served with meaty crab cakes. Dungeness, Red, or Snow are all delicious options for a delicious and locally sourced cake. — The wine’s crisp, lightly fruity flavor will enhance the sweet and savory nature of our local crab.

Crab Popcorn: Give us a sec before you mutiny! Either pop some fresh or grab your favorite bag of pre-popped corn (stick with the basic salt version for this application). Dig into the back of the spice cabinet for your potentially neglected container of Old Bay Seasoning. For a 4.4oz bag of Sea Salt Live Love Pop, sprinkle in about a ¼ tablespoon, or ¼ tablespoon per 1/3 cup of uncooked kernels. Shake or mix to evenly distribute. Add melted butter to push it way over the top. The seasoning and corn come together to evoke summer memories with much less pinching and boiling.

In the words of poet and scholar D. Tiger “We gotta try new food cause it might taste good”.

And don’t forget the Chardonnay! The salt & fat of the crab corn plays delightfully against the acidity, making this combo perfect for a mid-day nosh, appetizer or post-dinner movie snack.

We recommend:
LiveLovePop popcorn

Waterbrook Pinot Gris  Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris

Pinot Grigio:

Bartell’s Favorites:
Waterbrook Pinot Gris
Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris

Flavor profile: dry, light to medium-body, fruit-forward

Halibut: When you think Pinot Grigio, think summer BBQs, weekends at the beach, and sunny afternoons. So, at your next sunny soirée, make sure to stock a bright WA Pinot Grigio and serve up some halibut mousse with an artisanal baguette for the app or grilled halibut steaks for the main. The wine’s light, sweet flavor goes great with the similarly light and sweet protein.

Vanilla Ice Cream: The crisp dryness of the PG will cut the creamy, dairy richness of the snow colored classic. Although it can be argued the best juxtaposition is against the plain and simple vanilla, I found it an equally enjoyable to pair to a vanilla-based flavor, with some jazzy fun bits mixed in.

We recommend:
Haagen Dasz ice cream
Dryer’s ice cream

Charles & Charles Rosé  Gerard Bertrand Cotes Des Roses Rosé


Bartell’s Favorites:
Charles & Charles Rosé
Gerard Bertrand Cotes Des Roses Rosé

Flavor profile: lightly fruity & floral with citrus notes

Smoked Salmon: The rich, exquisitely savory nature of smoked salmon is a perfect match for the Rose’s dry fruitiness. Smoked salmon and Rose’ share an incredible versatility and are at home with brunch, hanging out with bagels, as they are being the great start to fancy dinner.

We recommend:
SeaBear Smoked Salmon (LOCAL!)

Dark Chocolate with Raspberry: No evening is complete without dessert and what feels more indulgent than premium dark chocolate. The bitter earthiness of the chocolate highlights the lightness of the Rose’ while the red fruitiness of the wine really brings out the raspberry.

We recommend:
Theo Chocolate Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Bar – Raspberry (LOCAL!)
Ghirardelli Chocolate: Dark & Raspberry

LaMarca Domaine Ste Michelle Brut

Sparkling Wine:

Bartell’s Favorites:
LaMarca Prosecco
Domaine Ste Michelle Brut

Flavor profile: dry acidity, crisp, bubbly and fruity

Tater Tots: Warm, crispy and salt-seasoned tots were made for sparkling wine. That’s just science. The bubbles and acidity of a sparkling white compliment the salty crunch of an air fried tot. No tots in the fridge? Go with potato chips. We prefer kettle cooked for the added crunch.

Gummy Bears: If you’re leaning more towards sweet than savory, grab a bag of classic gummy bears. The wine’s crisp effervescence cuts through the sweet gummy bear meat, while bringing out the beverage’s innate fruitiness.

We recommend:

And there you have it! 10 great pairings for some of our favorite wines. So swing down to your local Bartell’s, grab one of our recommended bottles, a snack and get creative.