Mardi Gras is a yearly celebration that recognizes the coming of spring and celebrates by enjoying rich and fatty foods. Origins of Mardi Gras stem from medieval Europe, however in modern times, this celebration is best known for its customs and foods of New Orleans. Wine Guide and guest blogger, Ashleigh Campbell, weighs in on her favorite pairings for this fun celebration! Let’s get pairing!
As a veteran, I have the honor of being a member of the very first crew of the USS New Orleans, LPD-18. Navy vessels take a lot of pride in their namesake, and being named for the city of New Orleans, our ship embraced all things New Orleans and Mardi Gras. From the fleur-delis in the ship’s crest, to the Mardi Gras themed holiday parties, even handing out beads to the crew for homecomings – it was like living in a floating version of New Orleans.
My favorite tradition was the New Orleans themed dinners. The food was always so flavorful and yummy! I still enjoy a classic New Orleans meal and love to pair it with a nice glass of wine. With Mardi Gras coming up I wanted to share some of my favorite wine and food pairings so you can create your own Mardi Gras celebration at home.
Sheet Pan Cajun Chicken and Corn
One thing about me, I love sheet pan dinners! Because they’re so easy to make and cleanup is a snap. With this cajun chicken and corn sheet pan meal, you are instantly transported to the streets of New Orleans. Pair this dish with our newest white wine, 2020 Porticina Malvasia. The spice in the dish balances nicely with the fruity, full-bodied profile of this wine.
Red Beans and Rice
A classic New Orleans dish is red beans and rice. Hearty, creamy and flavorful, this Louisiana staple is sure to please everyone. Simmering the beans with sausage adds a nice smoky element to the dish. Pair this complex meal with a glass of 2020 Moto Rouge, Petit Verdot. This wine is aged in oak barrels which compliment the smokiness from the sausage.
King Cake Spritz Cookies
King Cake is the traditional dessert of ‘Fat Tuesday’. The sweet yeast bread is decorated with icing, purple, green and yellow sugar and baked with a baby Jesus inside, which is said to bring luck and prosperity to whoever finds it. If you are unable to get a King Cake, or are looking for something smaller to make, these cookies are a perfect substitute. The three colors of sugar represent the Three Kings, so in keeping with the theme, pair these cookies with a glass of 2020 Three Hearts, Fizzy White Wine!
If you are enjoying your Mardi Gras meal with a Hurricane, the traditional drink of New Orleans, I recommend topping off your glass with some Streamer. Simply create the recipe like normal, fill your glass 3/4 of the way, and top it off with Streamer, White Wine Spritzer. The bubbles will make your celebration even more fun!
Are you ready to kick off your Mardi Gras celebration? Host your own free wine tasting and try out these pairings yourself. Book your tasting today!