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Wine Pairing 101: #WineNot? With Virgin America & Emily Wines


Originally posted on the Virgin America blog, Flyer Feed.

What makes a good wine pairing? According to Wine Enthusiast magazine, there are six elements “that make both red wine and white wine pairings work, and they’re derived from characteristics of the food and how they mingle with those of the wine. These are: fat, acid, salt, sweetness, bitterness and texture” and “the most successful food and wine pairings feature complementary components, richness and textures.”

And since I’m far from an expert on the topic, we invited the appropriately named Master Sommelier (one of only 230 in the world) and Senior Director of National Beverage Programs at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Emily Wines to help us pair our exclusive offerings from ONEHOPE Wine – the label’s 2013 Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

According to Emily, the ONEHOPE Cabernet is loaded with black cherry, cassis and mocha flavors and a wine with these silky tannins and rich body is the go-to pairing for a great steak. So she recommends the Roast Beef and cheddar sandwich. The richness of the beef in this hearty meal will help coax out the intense late-summer berry flavors in the Cabernet perfectly.

Expert tip: Wanting something lighter? In addition to pairing well with red meat, Emily explains that bold red wines also pair well with cheeses like the yellow cheddar in the Protein Plate.


And with the ONEHOPE Chardonnay, Emily suggests the Chicken Mozzarella with Pesto Sandwich. The wine’s vibrant apple and pear aromas absolutely burst when matched with the herbal flavors of pesto.

Expert tip: Contrary to popular belief, cheese is fantastic with white wine and the creamy camembert and muenster in the Artisan Cheese Plate (a Travel Light option) are the perfect foils for the luscious ONEHOPE Chardonnay. 

And as a bonus, you can feel good about your ONEHOPE Wine purchase knowing that over $1.5 million has been donated to partner nonprofits and half of the profits from onboard sales are being donated to benefit women’s heart health outreach and education as well. So treat yourself, #WineNot!

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