March Food Holidays & Wine Pairing Guide
Ready For Your March Food Holidays & Wine Pairing Guide?
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From appetizers to soups, breakfast food to dinner favorites, and all your favorite styles of desserts – March has a food holiday for you! I’ve singled out 10 days that are ripe for pairing with wine. Some are classic pairings, others are a bit more adventurous and unexpected. Each are designed to be complimentary, so you can enjoy the food on its own, the wine on its own, and both of them together in harmony.
So enough talk – let’s get to wining and dining!
March Food Holidays & Wine Pairing Guide
March 11 – Noodle Day
Wine Pairing: South African Chenin Blanc
Why It Works: I love spicy Asian noodle dishes. Really, any Asian noodle dishes, and you can find me adding in tons of Sriracha if it isn’t already spicy. Dishes like Pad Thai, Singapore Mei Fun, bowls of Ramen, you name it. Pair these highly flavored, highly aromatic dishes with a Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Asian dishes go excellent with a fuller-bodied wine on the sweeter side, that also present some floral notes to match the aromatics of the dish. Chenins from South Africa also tend to have a bit more acidity than their French or American counterparts, so they won’t clash with the flavors of the dish and will help keep your palate refreshed.
Related: Savor The Wines Of South Africa
Wine Pairing: Alsatian Pinot Blanc
Why It Works: As much as we want it to be warm out again, there are still plenty of cold days that call for a hot bowl of comforting soup. Celebrate the classic chicken noodle soup with a glass of Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a wine similar to Chardonnay. This grape is perfect for chicken soup because it produces wines that full-bodied, rich in yellow fruit flavors like apples and pears, yet is dry enough with just the right amount of acidity. Some are even oaked to provide a warm toasted flavor, which will make that bowl of soup even more comforting.
March 14 – Pi (Pie) Day
Wine Pairing: Moscato d’Asti
Why It Works: Every science and math nerd’s favorite holiday is Pi Day, which falls every year on 3/14 in honor of the number pi (3.14). Tradition is to celebrate by baking a pie of your choice. With Florida strawberry season in full swing, a fresh strawberry pie would be perfectly paired with a delightfully sweet and lightly fizzy Moscato d’Asti. This Italian sparkling wine is a crowd-pleaser, with its low alcohol content, crisp acidity and playful sweetness. Its floral notes mingle beautifully with delicate citrus and plenty of ripe stone fruits, which make for a perfect partner with sweet, juicy strawberries.
March 18 – Sloppy Joe Day
Wine Pairing: Chilean Carménère
Why It Works: You don’t have to eat a fancy meal to enjoy wine. There are plenty of foods that go perfectly with certain wines that aren’t 5-star dishes – and Sloppy Joes are the perfect example. This hearty, beefy, spicy dish is begging for an equally bold wine pairing, and Carménère is the perfect option. Full of dark fruits, spices, meaty leather and green and black pepper notes, Chile’s hallmark wine is your new go-to for this easy and flavorful meal.
March 19 – Oatmeal Cookie Day
Wine Pairing: Australian Shiraz
Why It Works: These hearty cookies are full of warm flavors with brown sugar, toasted oats and savory raisins. Skip that glass of milk and go straight for a big, bold Aussie Shiraz. You’ll get full-bodied and robust flavors of berries, plums, earthy spices, vanilla and cedar. The high tannin and alcohol content will up the indulgence factor as you’re noshing away on your cookie treat, too.
March 20 – Ravioli Day
Wine Pairing: Langhe Nebbiolo
Why It Works: There are so many types of ravioli, but sometimes less is more. Opt for a simple cheese ravioli with your favorite pasta sauce – and pair it with a Nebbiolo from the Langhe region of Italy. Nebbiolo is the grape used in the big Italian wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, but these wines are quite pricey, require significant age, and are best paired with exquisite, meaty Italian dishes. Langhe Nebbiolos are typically softer, more approachable, ready to consume younger yet will still give you the same characteristics of Barolo and Barbaresco (high in acidity, tannins, alcohol and flavors such as earth, mushrooms, herbs, dark fruits and rose).
Related: What You Need To Know About Nebbiolo
March 21 – Crunchy Taco Day
Wine Pairing: Spanish Tempranillo
Why It Works: Crunchy tacos made with your favorite beef, steak or pork fillings are sure to pair well with the vibrant, medium-bodied flavors of a Spanish Tempranillo. Think juicy berries, earthy spices, fresh or dried tobacco leaves, tar and leather. This wine is savory enough to stand up to the bold flavors of your favorite taco, while adding its own characteristic bite to make the pairing memorable.
March 24 – Waffle Day
Wine Pairing: Crémant de Loire/Loire Valley Sparkling
Why It Works: Get your brunch on today with some indulgent Belgian waffles, slathered in butter and topped with rich maple syrup, or opt for a fresh berry compote with fresh whipped cream. Or bananas and Nutella. Or really, whatever your heart desires. The possibilities are endless! No matter what you decide to go with, your perfect wine pairing should be something bubbly and bright, with a touch of creamy sweetness. Look no further than a Crémant or other sparkling wine from the Loire Valley in France – similar to Champagne in style, but at a fraction of the price.
Related: The Science Behind Sparkling Wine
March 28 – Black Forest Cake Day
Wine Pairing: Recioto della Valpolicella
Why It Works: Chocolate cake, in my opinion, should be celebrated everyday – but that wouldn’t be very healthy, now would it? So on March 28, we celebrate Black Forest Cake – that dark, luscious, cherry-filled chocolate cake with layers of rich cream. The wine pairing should be equally as luscious and decadent, so I suggest opting for something really special. Recioto della Valpolicella is similar to Amarone – the Italian wine popular for its intense dried fruit flavors – but is sweeter, bursting with cocoa and perfect for serving with dessert.
March 31 – Raw Oyster Day
Wine Pairing: Sparkling Rosé
Why It Works: Champagne is usually the go-to when it comes to pairing wine with fresh oysters due to its reputation for being an aphrodisiac. However, most of these bottles tend to be full in body with creamy, buttery, bready notes that can overpower the delicate flavors and clash with the freshness of these shellfish. You can still reach for the bubbly, but opt for something with enough minerality and acidity to compliment the brininess of the oysters, while still maintaining a bit of fruitiness of highlight their natural sweetness.
Related: Luc Belaire Rare Rosé Wine Review
Are you going to be celebrating any of these food holidays? What is your favorite pairing on this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!