You are familiar with Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sauvignon wines. Now, get to know The Napa Wine Heiresses, a.k.a. the daughters of Xavier St. Pierre, the most notorious vintner in Napa Valley, and discover what pairs best with the vinos that share their names…
People have been fascinated with beauty, fame and wealth for centuries, but don’t hate the St. Pierre sisters because they’re beautiful and their Papa is rich; deep down inside they’re human too. The roads to love and fulfillment (not to mention within the pages of romance novels) abound with potholes, even for the most privileged.
Char, Xavier’s middle child, is worried her golden girl appearance only adds to people’s impression of her as an empty-headed celebutant. She rebels by embracing her inner athlete, leading her prep school field hockey team to a state championship and competes in a half-marathon against a hunky movie star in A Taste of Chardonnay. Nothing gives Char a jolt of much-needed energy better than chocolate. So which wine does she pour when she dips her silver spoon into molten lava cake? Dark chocolate’s strong, complex flavors are best balanced by dessert wines like Port, and those from the Banyuls region of France. Both of these fruity wines are fortified with comparatively high levels of alcohol and sugar, which helps them hold their own against the sweetly bitter cacao.
Budding jewelry designer Meri is bound to succeed on her own terms and uses a fake name for her business to hide she’s wine country royalty. When Mark Newman invites her to her very first football game with his gang of beer-guzzling friends in A Taste of Merlot, she discovers nothing beats noshing on down-home American cuisine. Sip by sip, Mark and Meri fall in love over wings and pizza, matched up with a strong, Italian red wine like Sangiovese—a muscular, Italian grape, built to handle oil-rich pepperoni. A great second choice to pair with a calzone or grinder is Cabernet Franc.
In an unlikely matchmaking scheme to pair up attorney Savvy and the farm boy next door Esteban, the St. Pierre cook lends her recipe for coq au vin to Esteban’s mom. This classic French chicken dinner is typically made with a full-bodied red wine from Burgundy. Tradition says whatever you use in the pot is what you should drink with the dish, keeping in mind the flavors won’t be the same after cooking, but play off of each other instead. Like all good home cooks, Esteban’s mother substitutes whatever is handy. In this case, it’s Rioja; a Spanish wine in a French dish—much like Esteban and Savvy—turns out to be the perfect blend in A Taste of Sauvignon.
I hope you enjoy my food and wine combinations along with the couples that inspired them!