Need Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio food pairings? Sure, you’re tempted to drink that bottle of Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio by itself. To bring out the best in your Santa Cristina, however, you should serve it with appropriate foods. Santa Cristina pinot grigios have a lemony citrus tang and a slight mineral flavor, so keep that in mind when serving with foods. Here are some recommended foods that pair well with this versatile wine:
- Pair with cheeses. Wine and cheese are usually partners in sublime, and your Santa Cristina will pair well with mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and such uncomplicated goat cheeses as feta. Avoid heavier and stinkier cheeses; the pinot grigio grape won’t stand up to them.
- Pair with fish and shellfish. This may seem like a no-brainer—white wine goes with fish, duh—but Italian pinot grigios work best with more-delicate, light-bodied white fish. Serve it with sole, halibut and snapper but avoid salmon and other oily fish. Italian pinots also pair well with shrimp, crab and other shellfish. Pinot grigio with a white clam pasta is a classic pairing. If you’re serving lobster, however, save the Santa Cristina for another day.
- Pair with poultry, veal and pork. Admit it. Your eyes were already scanning down the page looking for the word “chicken,” and here it is. Your Santa Cristina will pair well with all types of poultry, including chicken, turkey and Cornish game hens. It will also work well with dishes made with what those crafty admen call the “other white meats,” veal and pork. Uncork a bottle to enjoy with veal scallopine or lemongrass pork. Because of their citrusy nature, Italian pinot grigios can make a surprisingly good pairing with ham. Your Santa Cristina will be perfect for appetizer courses, enhancing such before-meal favorites as prosciutto and melon.
- Pair with appropriate herbs and sauces. Some self-proclaimed wine aficionados busy themselves decreeing which types of food should and should not be paired with specific wines. They often overlook that a dish’s preparation can be just as important as its main ingredient. Italian pinot grigios work best with simple preparations, such as fish and nonred meats that are grilled or roasted with one or two simple herbs. Many dishes prepared with basil, chervil, cilantro, dill, lemongrass, tarragon and thyme are a natural match for an Italian pinot grigio. Most Italian pinot grigios are on the fruity side and don’t mesh well with recipes using butter sauces, cream sauces and cheese sauces, but Santa Cristina vintages typically have a mineral edge, much like French pinot gris wines. They will slice through the heavier flavors of these dairy products, providing just the right contrast. So try a glass or two to go with creamy or cheesy dips or pasta with Alfredo sauce.
To bring out the wine’s fruit, it’s important to serve your Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio cold. Plan ahead by sticking the bottle in the fridge a few hours before you want to serve it. If you forget or are in a rush, pour ice, preferably crushed, in an ice bucket until it’s about half full. Then pour in cold water until the water reaches about three-quarters of the way to the top. Put the bottle in the ice water, cover the bucket with a clean kitchen towel, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.