Friday, December 5, 2008


Ever tried to find the appropriate pairing for Skyline Chili? Well, look no more my friends. I believe I have mastered this tricky combo.

You may think Greek wines would pair best, given that Skyline originated from Greek recipes. However, the general sweetness of the Greek wines available to the U.S. market don’t lend themselves entirely well to the meat-based spaghetti-hotdog variations.

But what I did try is a wine we currently have on closeout at 2 for $10, Leopards Leap Pinotage Shiraz 2004. A brief lesson on Pinotage: In 1925 two grapes were crossbred in South Africa, Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Although both French varietals, the wine produced seems nothing like its parents. Usually a wine with given characteristics of bramble, earth and tropical fruits, this wine didn’t really hit the U.S. market until the late 90’s.

Unexpectedly, this South African wine was a perfect match for my dinner last night, Skyline Chili (probably my favorite food, anyway.) Filled with plenty of fruit and chocolate notes, it brought out the elusive ingredients in Skyline, chocolate and cinnamon. Basically, a Greek man brought his chili recipe to Cincinnati in the 40’s, a South African wine hit the Cincinnati market in the 90’s, and here I am, a German-Irish gal enjoying them together. Isn’t globalization a crazy thing?

Basically, the moral of the story is to try new wines with your favorite foods all the time, and who knows, you just might get lucky and find a great pairing.

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