Sometimes you have a wine in mind and you search for the right dish, and sometimes the opposite. Whichever case you’re in, by paying attention to a couple details of wine and food characteristics, you turn a simple meal into a feast.

In this post, you’ll find six different wine and food pairings for inspiration. There are meals for every taste including seafood, meat and vegetarian options, and paired with different wines white, rosé or red; still or sparkling. Here’s the list of the wines and their food pairings:

  1. Champagne, paired with smörgåstårta
  2. Rosé champagne, paired with pappardelle with shrimp and avocado sauce
  3. Godello, paired with lobster risotto
  4. Emir, paired with burrata served on grilled veggies 
  5. Kalecik Karasi, paired with hünkâr beğendi and basmati rice pilaf
  6. Pinot Noir, paired with duck leg confit and risotto d’orzo with shiitake mushrooms

1. Louis Roederer, Brut Premier Champagne, paired with Smörgåstårta

Smörgåstårta is a Swedish recipe for savoury sandwich cake, it’s original, looks very appetizing and delicious. In Wines of Nesli, we already talked about smörgåstårta before, you can find the recipe and an alternative pairing here.

This time, instead of a still wine, try a different pairing with a sparkling wine: Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne.

2. Perrier-Jouët, Belle Epoque, Rosé 2006, paired with pasta pappardelle with giant shrimp and avocado sauce

Pappardelle is a type of pasta with a flat long shape. The dry version contains eggs, which makes it chewy and fulfilling.

Preparing this meal is quite easy: First start with the avocado sauce; mash all the ingredients; avocado, garlic, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, olive oil and salt until everything becomes a paste. If you’ll not eat it immediately, add some lemon juice to avoid browning of the avocado. Grill the shrimp. Meanwhile, boil the water and cook the pasta al dente. The rest will depend on your plate decoration skills.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2006 makes a great company.


3. Bodegas Casa Rojo, The Orange Republic, Godello sobre lias 2016, paired with Nova Scotia lobster and risotto

Any dish becomes special with the addition of lobster. For this one, I bring together buttered lobster claws with risotto and baby carrots. It creates a good balance and harmony on the plate.

Making a good risotto is not an easy task. To get the best results, it’s important to use high quality carnaroli rice from the Po Valley of Italy. Next key point is the broth, bringing together layers of flavours makes it more delicious. I use lobster shells, onion, asparagus, carrot and tomato. More onion, white wine and some Parmesan cheese makes it even better during cooking, and you’ll achieve an al dente and creamy risotto. For baby carrots, boil them only for a couple of minutes and sautée with some butter and maple syrup. Cooked this way, they are very crispy.

For pairing, try an on-lees aged white wine of Godello grapes from the denomination of origen Valdeorras. This particular wine is vintage 2016 and takes its name “The Orange Republic” comes from the vicinity of the vineyard to the orange orchard. Inside of its elegant and rich bouquet, it’s even possible to smell orange blossoms.


4. Kocabag Wines, K of Kapadokya, Emir 2017,  paired with buffalo burrata served on grilled eggplant and zucchini 

A great option for vegetarians, and for those of you who love veggies. Eggplant and zucchini are so tasty when they are grilled with olive oil. If you have, use a cast iron grill pan to grill them, and drizzle some olive oil on top once they’re ready. Serve the burrata on top, and enjoy.

This vegetarian dish pairs nicely with Emir, an autochthonous variety of Cappadocia region of Turkey. Kocabag Winery is one of the producers in the region that uses this variety at its best.


5. Kayra Wines, Terra Varietal Series, Kalecik Karasi 2017, paired with Hünkâr beğendi (with sauted lamb) and basmati rice pilaf

The literal translation of hünkâr beğendi from Turkish would be “the sovereign/sultan liked it”. And I’m pretty sure you’ll like it as well.

As this was a dish coming from palace cuisine during the Ottoman Empire, it has a difficult preparation. First thing to do is grilling the eggplant on fire without peeling the skin. Once the eggplant is cooked it’ll have a burnt skin and soft inside. Peel the skin carefully, and mash it. This mashed eggplant will cook again with milk, melted butter and roasted flour until it becomes a homogenous puree. The final ingredient is kashkaval cheese. It’s served with cubes of sauteed lamb with a sauce of tomato, green pepper and onion on top, as well as some basmati rice pilaf on the side.

The wine selection for this delicious meal is a wine from an indigenous Turkish variety called Kalecik Karasi. It makes exceptional medium bodied red wines. It makes a good pairing with veggie base dishes like this one. 


6. Chehalem, 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013,  paired with duck leg confit and risotto d’orzo with shiitake mushrooms

Duck and Pinot Noir make an enjoyable pairing that you cannot go wrong with. The fatty duck meat finds its soothing effect with the acidity and soft tannins of Pinot Noir. For Pinot Noir, my selection was from Willamette Valley of Oregon, produced by Chehalem Winery.

Duck leg confit, as one of the most important dishes of French cuisine, requires a lot of time to cook. However, you can always take a short cut, and will be ready after a couple of hours in the oven. As a side dish I recommend a risotto made with orzo – a short cut pasta. With a broth of shiitake mushrooms and white wine, it becomes hard to resist.




All images © 2019 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.

Categories: Wine & Food, WinesTags: , ,


  1. What a wonderful post, Nesli! I love all the combinations but the Louis Roderer Brut NV and Smörgåstårta followed by the Kalecik Karasi 2017with Hünkâr beğendi and basmati rice pilaf! TYum!


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