Guest blogger Carole Solomon of Heritage Link Brands , is back with a follow-up from last week’s blog about throwing a Fair Trade wine party, to share a few ways to pair your Fair Trade wine with delicious dishes.
The quintessential rule of wine and food pairing is to drink what you like with what you like to eat. However, learning to match flavors between wine and food can certainly enhance your enjoyment of both. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:
- Match weight and texture
- Balance intensity of flavors
- Balance tastes
- Match or counterpoint flavors
In general, tannins pair well with fat. Tart wines go better with tart foods. High acidity wine matches with rich, fried, creamy or cheesy dishes. Some foods to avoid pairing with wine are artichoke, asparagus, and eggs.
Vegetable Chips & Cheese Fondue
- Camembert or Brie (whole round)
- Root vegetables - potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot, carrots, parsnips
- Fair Trade Certified olive oil 
- Sea salt & Fair Trade Certified black pepper 
Preheat oven to 400. Peel vegetables, slice thinly, wash and blot dry. Drizzle slices with olive oil. Spread out slices on baking sheet, season with salt and pepper. Bake 4–7 minutes. Potatoes may take longer than other vegetables. Cool crisps on a rack or paper towel. Lower the oven temperature to 300. Remove wrapping from cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until soft.
Spicy Seared Scallops
- 1 pound scallops
- 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Melba toast
- Fair Trade Certified olive oil 
- Watercress for garnish
- Garlic Mayonnaise or Hollandaise Sauce
Coat scallops with oil. Mix salt and paprika. Sear scallops in hot non-stick pan for about 15 seconds on each side. Dust with spice mix. Place scallops on top of toast squares. Finish with dollop of dipping sauce. Garnish with watercress.
(Recipe & photo courtesy of Claire Thomas)
- 8 strips thin-cut hickory smoked bacon
- 1 cup golden brown Fair Trade Certified sugar 
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar and pepper. Put bacon on a cooling rack placed over a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Coat each slice evenly with sugar mixture (1/8 –1/4 inch.) Bake for 10 minutes until browned, and bacon has curled at edges. Remove from oven and flip bacon over. Cover with sugar mixture and bake another 4-6 minutes, or until fully cooked. Cool until sugar is hardened. Cut into pieces with kitchen scissors.
Coffee Smoked Strip Steak
- 2 tablespoons ground Fair Trade Certified coffee  beans
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- NY strip steak
Preheat broiler. Spread coffee on foil sheet, and place 6 inches from heat source. Broil for 45 seconds, shaking the foil every 10 seconds or whenever you see smoke. Mix coffee and spices. Rub into steaks, or pound in with a meat mallet. Grill as desired. Slice steak into thin strips to place on skewers.
The last station is all about dessert. These wines match well with chocolate covered strawberries or feel free to experiment with your newfound tasting knowledge.
Don’t forget to use Fair Trade Certified flowers  for decoration and end the night with a pot of Fair Trade coffee . After enjoying the wonderful wines and delicious recipes above, no one will debate the idea of drinking well to do good.
For more info of Fair Trade Certified wine and to read producer stories, view the Fair Trade USA event guide .
Heritage Link Brands is the largest company in North America dedicated to importing and distributing wine produced by indigenous Africans and people of African descent throughout the world. For more information, please visit our website at www.heritagelinkbrands.com  or join us on Facebook .