Darryl Estrine

Andrea Immer, Master Sommelier and dean of wine studies at The French Culinary
Institute in New York City, selects wines to pair with these recipes.

By Julia Dowling Rutland

Scallops in Coconut-Basil Sauce
"Coconut milk has the lushness and tropical richness thatbegs for California Chardonnay. It's the flavor combo. Gallo ofSonoma (about $9) is the best-tasting deal on the market. Or gowith St. Francis (about $13) or Cambria (about $18)."

Salmon Poached in Court-Bouillon with Basil Aïoli
"It may be hard to imagine this match, so summon your faith:California Cabernet. Yes, there is no better friend to the flavorof basil when melted into a silky emulsion such as this. And thesalmon is fearless with big reds. So go for it! Choose J. Lohr(about $15) for a budget Cab that tastes real, serious, gorgeous;or Seven Peaks (about $15). For a trade up that rewards thepremium, go with Mondavi Stags Leap District (about $50)."

Olive Oil-Poached Mahimahi with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce
"This is a died-and-gone-to-heaven dinner with Chianti. Therosemary, tomato, olives, and heft of the fish dance with the spiceand zest of Chianti. I would say Ecco Domani (about $11) for abudget choice, or Antinori Pèppoli (about $22) for a tradeup."

Cod Poached in Tomato-Saffron Broth
"Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado (about $6.50). It's so cheapit seems impossible. But it's delicious, and perfect with thesaffron-garlic-seafood flavors here. Chin up, don't snob out; drinkwhat tastes expensive, not what costs expensive!"

Halibut Poached in Orange Broth with Tropical Salsa
"The jalapeño heat, cilantro, and tropical fruit dreamof Rieslings from Washington state, either Hogue (about $9) orColumbia Winery (about $8.50), are breathtaking. Their faintestedge of sweetness tames the chili heat. The same theory works withWhite Zinfandel, so go Beringer (about $8) or Turning Leaf (about$9) if you would rather."

Pinot Noir-Poached Salmon
"No need to poach with pricey Pinot when there is TurningLeaf (about $8), Pepperwood Grove (about $7), or Firesteed (about$10). And I would drink them just as proudly. They are silkycherries (which is the definition of Pinot). For a real treatthat's still affordable, drink Calera (about $26) or Byron PinotNoir (about $30)."

Andrea Immer--the author of Great Wine Made Simple, AndreaImmer's Wine Buying Guide for Everyone, and Great Tastes Made Simple--is one of 10 women in the world to hold the title of MasterSommelier as well as the first woman chosen as Best Sommelier inAmerica.

You May Like