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The Perfect Pairings: What Wines to Choose

Great meals are impactful. At Summer House, we know every bite, every smell, and every sip matters in making your dining experience the most magical and memorable. So when it comes to crafting the perfect order from entree to its wine pairing, one thing is for sure: knowledge is power. However, unless you are a top-tier wine expert, selecting the best wine pairing for your feast can feel intimidating at times. Especially when you’re desperate to get it just right.

At Summer House Santa Monica, we pride ourselves in expertly guiding our guests through our carefully curated list of California and Pacific North Coast wines. We not only want you to leave full and happy, but to return empowered and enlightened.

With the excitement surrounding our summer Alaskan Halibut season, we figured what better time to offer wine selection tips than pairing it with this popular seafood and other highlights from the seasonal Summer House menus. Let’s get started!

Summer House catered salad and taco fajita platter at Summer House Santa Monica.

Start with the most obvious “this or that” questions.

Red or white? Light or heavy meal? Depending on which way your taste buds go first, there are several things you will want to keep in mind. When it comes to meat dishes, red wines tend to pair better with bolder flavors like red meat, and white wines are a great match for less intense meats like fish. For Wood-Grilled Alaskan Halibut with grilled asparagus and caper vinaigrette, try a dry white like our 2016 Barnard Griffin Riesling.

Work your way into exploring different wine styles.

From a bold, full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon to a light, acidic, and earthy white like Pinot Noir, there are plenty of styles to sort through and experiment with. Knowing which styles will compliment or contrast smoothly with your meal of choice will elevate your culinary prowess and dining expertise to another level. General rules of thumb tend to be that white, sparkling, and rosé wines are good for contrasting match-ups, whereas reds are convenient for compatible match-ups.

During your next brunch, lunch or dinner, celebrate rosé season with our Grenache Rosé served on tap alongside Crispy Brick Chicken with roasted potatoes and lemon chicken jus.

Crispy brick chicken entree in sauce at Summer House Santa Monica.

When it comes to vegetable-based dishes, identify the richness and how it’s cooked.

Generally, the richer the dish means you should probably order a richer wine. Sweet white wines and lighter reds add perfect touches of sweetness and can cut through cooked, earthy vegetables with ease. For example, if you’re opting for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts–truly a hot ticket item–go with the 2014 Erath Pinot Gris, or 2014 Bodega Tamari Reserva Malbec.

Most importantly, when it comes to wine and food pairings, always remember experimentation is welcome and to not be afraid to ask questions.

Our Summer House Santa Monica team is here to help guide you through our unique West Coast-inspired dining experience. Just make sure to show off and order seasonal specials with your newfound wine expertise during your next visit!

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©2021 Summer House Santa Monica®. Lettuce Entertain You® Enterprises, Inc.

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