Food and Wine Pairing Ideas for Your Next Party

February 23, 2017 |

(StatePoint) This season, get together with friends and family to indulge in delicious food and wine pairings. To guide you through the party planning, here is some expert advice on how to alleviate the potential stress of being a host.

“Planning a menu can be a challenge. Knowing the flavor profile of each course, salty, sweet, sour or savory, will help you pair wines with your meal,” says Dean Busquaert, senior wine educator at Napa Valley’s Sequoia Grove Winery.

With more than 30 years of experience in Napa Valley, the team at Sequoia Grove Winery have become specialists in not only producing delicious wine but also educating their customers on wine and food pairings.

“If your meal is mainly savory dishes, the Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (SRP: $39.99) would be a terrific choice. It is elegant, with concentrated dark fruit flavors and wonderful structure. Cabernet Sauvignons do not live up to their full potential in the presence of sugar, but become soft, almost velvet-like with a sauce that has a good acidic backbone.”

With this tip in mind, work past the traditional thought process that ‘red wine only pairs with red meat’ and remember that the key to a successful meal is thoughtful preparation.

The winery recommends a recipe for Sliced Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce. 


• Four 6 oz. boneless chicken breasts

• 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

• 3 tbsp. canola oil

• 2 tbsp. butter

Lemon Butter Sauce

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

• 2 c. low-sodium/fat-free chicken broth

• 1 lemon, zest and juice

• 1 tbsp. chives

• 1 tsp. thyme, de-stemmed

• Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Preparing the Chicken

• Slice chicken horizontally into three or four thin pieces, then pound flat using a meat mallet.

• Dredge the chicken in the flour until coated.

• Heat oil and butter in a large non-stick sauté pan and add the chicken. Brown and cook on each side; approximately 3-5 minutes per side depending on its thickness.

• Place each piece in an oven safe dish until all of the pieces have been cooked.

Preparing the Sauce

• Melt butter in a medium saucepan and add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, then whisk in the flour forming a roux.

• Gradually add in the chicken broth, whisking as you pour to create a smooth sauce.

• Add the lemon zest, juice, chives and thyme. Bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

•Top chicken with the sauce, then bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Serves six (approximately 12-14 pieces of chicken)

The recipe pairs nicely with the complexity of a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Busquaert, adds, “The secret is to eliminate sweetness and embrace tart flavors.”

The recipe pairs nicely with the complexity of a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Busquaert, adds, “The secret is to eliminate sweetness and embrace tart flavors.”

For more information about Sequoia Grove winery and its educational food and wine tasting seminars, visit

Use these helpful hints at your next dinner party to create a meal with the perfect wine pairings.


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