Posts Tagged ‘wine pairing’

My Cheater’s Handbook to Wine

I’ll be very honest with you- when it comes to wine, I honestly have very little knowledge about wine brands. I like red (woo antioxidants= great excuse for drinking it), Pinot Grigio, and I like it cheap. I wish there was a mathematic proof to show me how to pick wine, but alas it does not exist. However, here is my foolproof guide to the cheater’s way I pick out wine… I have yet to pick a bad bottle!

  1. Determine your price range. Do you feel like splurging today? Is it a party? Is this a gift for someone? Asking yourself some simple questions before you walk in and get overwhelmed is always a good choice. Set some boundaries for yourself. Like really, you don’t need a $40.00 on a random Tuesday. Trust me, you don’t.
  2. Determine what color and type you want- white or red? Dry or sweet? What are you pairing it with? Reds go with red meat, whites go with fish and chicken, and if you’re like me you often ignore this factor because reds are just better.
  3. Find Your Red Wine Type: a light red wine is Beaujolais Nouveau, a popular French wine, that will go with any kind of meal. A medium body red wine has more tannins- Merlot, Shiraz, and Chianti all fall into this category. A full-bodied red wine is a Bordeaux or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The more tannins, the fuller the body, and the stronger in alcohol content.
  4. Or Your White Wine Type: Rieslings tend to be sweet and refreshing, Moscato is a dessert wine, Chardonnay is dry, and Sauvignon Blanc goes with all vegetables, Thai and Italian food, and is light to medium. My personal favorite, Pinot Grigio, is light, crisp, and has smooth overtones. Delicious.
  5. After these questions, research wine sales online. This tactic is a fabulous way to find wine without crashing your budget. Often liquor stores do 2-4-1 specials and even my local grocery store too. Once you find a deal that sounds good, head out and test it out! I often find myself browsing staff picks and points at grocery stores to help as well. If you download  the application for your iPhone, you can SCAN barcodes to determine more information about the wine bottle! This is really fun to play with, and I highly recommend it for someone like me who does not know much about brands.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

I love tilapia, and it is one of the few fishes that have a very low amount of mercury. It is also low in calories and fat. It can be baked, broiled, or blackened. However, if you’re sick of the normal ways of baking tilapia, try this recipe instead.


  • 3-4 tilapia fillets, depending on size
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • salt, pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Rinse tilapia and place in glass dish.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder and mix well.
  3. Pour lemon juice on separate plate, and put the filet in the lemon juice on both sides. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, but be careful not to overdo it.
  4. Dredge filet in breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Place in a baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over fillets and spray them lightly with olive oil
  7. Bake at 425ºF for about 20 minutes or until edges are brown. You can also bake these faster at 450ºF.

I recommend serving with a side of spaghetti and red sauce and a salad. The best kind of wine with parmesan crusted tilapia is definitely pinot grigio, so serve Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio with it.