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Daring pairings: matching food and wine for the perfect Valentine's Day meal


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Updated: 2/03 11:15 am Published: 11/08/2013 9:26 am


(BPT) - There's always a certain amount of trepidation at the thought of cooking Valentine's Day dinner. Whether it's an intimate meal for two or you're cooking for a dozen of your closest friends, do you go out on a culinary limb and serve something impressively daring, or do you play it safe with a tried and true menu? If you decide to take a chance, how daring are you? And, if your menu is an adventure for the taste buds, what wine do you pair with it?

Recently, malbec received praise for being a versatile wine and a great choice for food pairing. In fact, when surveyed, more than half of culinary professionals agreed that malbec pairs with many types of foods. Whether you're serving something wildly daring, such as five-spice crusted short ribs with miso black garlic jus, or something mildly daring, like rigatoni with spicy salami and tomato sauce, you can't go wrong pairing it with malbec.

Alamos Malbec, America's most preferred malbec, is grown in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina. The result is grapes that combine bold layers of flavor and excellent natural acidity for a wine that pairs beautifully with just about any Valentine's Day meal.

"Our unique growing conditions of intense sunlight and cool evening temperatures produce malbec grapes with incredible flavor making the wine highly versatile for pairing with food,' says Alamos Winemaker Felipe Stahlschmidt.

Entertain with confidence by leaning on malbec's versatility. Consider pushing the culinary envelope this Valentine's Day and pair malbec with daring cuisine, such as this recipe for Manchego and Chorizo-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers. Your guests will be impressed as they fall in love with you and your food. For more daring pairings, visit www.tastingtable.com/alamos.

Manchego and Chorizo Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Pair with Alamos Malbec

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 pound smoked firm Spanish chorizo, chopped

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup seeded, chopped tomato

1/3 cup Alamos Malbec

1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese, plus extra for topping

12 canned or jarred piquillo peppers, well drained (may substitute roasted red bell peppers if piquillo peppers are unavailable)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cook chorizo, onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes or until onion is soft, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato, malbec, yellow bell pepper and seasonings and cook for 10 minutes more or until all excess liquid has cooked off. Stir in cheese. Fill piquillo peppers with equal amounts of filling and place stuffed peppers in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired, and cook in preheated oven for 5 minutes or until peppers are hot and cheese is melted.

Makes 6 appetizer servings.


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