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