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What to drink with sloppy Joes: Wines with fruit and richness

By Michael Austin • Feb 5, 2018 at 7:00 AM

This dish is both savory and sweet, and it’s also pleasantly tangy, so a healthy dose of fruit and richness in a wine is a good bet.

Here are a Champagne, a white from Greece and a red from Italy that will stand up to this zesty and busy sandwich, and won’t get lost in the crowd.




Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook 1/4 cup diced bacon until crispy. Stir in 1 onion, chopped; 1 red bell pepper, chopped; 1 poblano, chopped; and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until onion is translucent. Stir in 3 cloves garlic, minced; 3 tablespoons ground chile; and 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground cumin; cook, 2 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons tomato paste; cook until paste darkens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 pounds ground turkey and 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes; simmer, uncovered, until liquid reduces and turkey is cooked through. Serve with cornbread. Makes: 8 servings


Pairings by sommelier Alan Beasey of The Purple Pig, as told to Michael Austin:

Canard-Duchene Cuvee Leonie, Champagne, France: This nonvintage blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay is full bodied with aromas of red fruits and berries. Its bright acidity and delicate bubbles will cut through the sandwich’s tangy richness, and its rich, toasty, brioche flavors and subtle, sweet fruit will wrap up the dish’s savory elements.

2014 Domaine Skouras Viognier Eclectique, Peloponnese, Greece: This white wine spent significant time aging in oak barrels, giving it body and flavors of toasted bread crust, hazelnut and spice. When those and the wine’s ripe tropical fruit flavors meet the salty, savory flavors of turkey, bacon and onions, it’ll be a perfect match.

2015 Pala I Fiori Cannonau, Sardinia, Italy: “Cannonau” is grenache on Sardinia, and this wine’s black cherry, sweet plum and cola flavors will enhance the dish’s spices. Soft tannins will bind the savory turkey for a pleasant hint of umami, and the tangy finish of the wine will draw the onions and peppers together.


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