Wine and Olives: A Classic Pairing

Wine and Olives: A Classic Pairing

We’ve all been there: standing in the wine aisle, an upcoming dinner party looming in your head, totally unsure of what to buy to compliment your flank steak or that buttery salmon. But fear not! We’ve put together this handy guide, with the help of our friend Christy of The Shared Sip, to help you become the host you’ve always wanted to be. From a light Sauv Blanc to a hearty Cab, these pairings will help you create a memorable meal from start to finish.

 

Sauvignon Blanc

Though the flavors of a Sauv Blanc can change from region to region, it’s typically characterized by its crisp, refreshing vibe often with notes of citrus and grassy herbs. You’ll often hear Sauvignon Blancs referred to as “green,” a blanket term that speaks to the varietal’s signature flavors like freshly-cut green grass, bell pepper, serrano chiles, tarragon, cilantro, and the like. Similarly, the wine pairs well with green veggies like artichokes, asparagus, and zucchini. Round the meal out with Sauv’s favorite sidekick: fresh seafood, the perfect partner to this classic white wine.

On the menu:

  • Arugula and asparagus salad topped with fried goat cheese makes a great starter dish to pair with a Sauv.

  • Add Lindsay Naturals Green Ripe Olives, skewered on toothpicks, for easy pre-dinner noshing.

  • For the main dish, opt for flaky fish, like salmon, sole or yellowtail, brushed with olive oil and chopped bright green herbs,  grilled over low heat to perfection. Sauvignon Blanc also compliments a cheesy quiche perfectly—go for goat cheese + asparagus as a vegetarian option, or even a classic quiche lorraine for something a touch heartier in the cooler months.

  • A tart sorbet (think lemon, lime, or grapefruit) nicely mirrors the flavors found in a Sauv. Garnish with a little zest if you’re feeling fancy!

 

Rosé

Whatever your favorite summer dish is, chances are a Rosé will pair with it! Melding the low-key vibes of a white wine with the subtle punch of a red wine, a Rosé is a great go-to varietal when you’re putting together a simple or last-minute meal.

On the menu:

  • Start the evening with gouda (aged and young both work well) or a creamy blue cheese, a handful of rosemary marcona almonds, honey and an array of flatbreads or rustic crackers.

  • Leave a big bowl of red pepper-stuffed manzanilla olives on the table, perfect for easy snacking alongside the cheeseboard.

  • Place your bets on a spicy dish here, which Rosé can easily stand up to—think shrimp tacos (don’t forget the chili powder rub!) or your favorite BBQ ribs. Turkey burgers with fancy fixins (sliced gouda, arugula, chipotle mayo and beyond!) elevate a cookout to something a little more special.

  • Grilled peaches with a dollop of mascarpone is the perfect light dessert to pair with a crisp Rosé.
     


Chardonnay

Though Chards are known for their buttery and oaky qualities, you’ll want to pair them with just the opposite when it comes to food: focus on incorporating mild, less pungent flavors into the meal. Shellfish and poultry work well with a Chardonnay, especially with herbs and a light sauce. You’ll want to skip super spicy dishes here, as those will quickly overwhelm the wine. If your Chard is on the oakier side, feel free to play more with spices or a creamier sauce, while young, citrusy Chardonnays match best with simple, lightly-seasoned meals and just a touch of butter.

On the menu:

  • Mild cheeses like fresh mozzarella, ricotta and burrata are killer with Chardonnay; sprinkle on some truffle salt to add some dimension and complexity.

  • Nutty California Black Olives contrast nicely to the buttery notes of Chardonnay—set a bowl out for grazing or make an easy tapenade to serve with toasted ciabatta slices.

  • Since roasting and grilling will bring out any sweetness in the wine, try making a crispy-skinned chicken, accompanied by veggies with a bit of inherent sugar like corn, squash and sweet potatoes.

  • Caramelized fruit pairs well with Chardonnay—lightly sweetened, cinnamon apples in a puff pastry or galette is a great option to round out the meal.

 

Pinot Noir

Pinots typically boast fruit-forward flavors like apple, berry, and even some floral notes. As with all wines, they vary greatly from region to region, but are most often light on tannins which makes them incredibly versatile in pairing with food. Pinot Noirs are also ideal for dinner parties as they can be easily sipped before the meal, on their own or with light appetizers.

 

On the menu:

  • Bold cheeses like brie and gruyere are ideal, but Pinot will stand up to any of your favorites—don’t overthink this one!

  • Fruity Kalamata olives and spiced nuts are great for rounding out your appetizer board.

  • Mushrooms are a Pinot’s BFF—sautéed atop a medium-rare filet mignon will be a hit amongst meat-loving friends, while a creamy mushroom risotto is a can’t-miss option for the vegetarian crowd. Gamey duck also stands up well with Pinot; try it with a berry compote and creamy polenta.

  • Dark chocolate-dipped berries are a simple and unfussy dessert that you can nibble on as you finish your bottle of Pinot (or, ahem, as you cork your second bottle!)
     


Cabernet + Zinfandel

If a Cab or Zin is in your lineup, this is the time to bring out your heartiest dishes; these tannin-rich, bold varietals will stand up against red meat and big flavors. Italian flavor profiles and classic comfort foods are a good place to start when it comes to building a menu around these wines, while less sweet desserts are the perfect finale to a Cab or Zin-focused meal.

On the menu:

  • Hard cheeses like gouda, aged cheddar and asiago will make your Cab shine.

  • Spanish Queen Olives—larger and perfectly salty—make a great pre-dinner snack with a Zin in hand.

  • Short ribs, meatballs and brisket are all solid options for the main dish—an Italian focus is a no-brainer. Combine pork and beef to create richer meatballs as the fats compliment full-bodied wines; eggplant parmesan is a great option for vegetarians.

  • Super sweet desserts can make these varietals taste bitter. Opt instead for a rich but not overly sugary treat, like dark chocolate flourless cake or a panna cotta with fresh blackberries.

 

 

 


 

Explore our other Olive Pairing Guides

Harissa Olive Party Pairing Guide
Sesame Soy Olive Party Pairing Guide
Seville Citrus Party Pairing Guide