You need a strong wine to stand up to a smoky dish. The three bottles recommended to pair with this easy weeknight white-bean chili are each fierce in a different way, be it in acidity, tannins or smoky notes in the wine itself. Set aside about 30 minutes to whip up the belly-warming bowl, which leaves you plenty of time in your evening to enjoy a second helping and just one more glass of wine — said again and again until the bottle is dry.
Make this: Smoky White Bean Chili with Pork
Brown 1 pound ground pork in a Dutch oven over medium heat, 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a bowl. Reduce heat to low; add 3 cloves garlic, minced, and 1 onion, chopped. Cook until onion wilts, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup red wine; cook, 5 minutes. Add meat, 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes and 2 cans (14 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed. Cover; cook, 15 minutes. Serve with cilantro and sour cream. Makes: 6 servings
Recipe from “Good Meat” by Deborah Krasner
Pairings by sommelier Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia, as told to Michael Austin:
Edi Kante Dosaggio Zero Metodo Classico Spumante, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy With great respect for terroir, this winery’s offerings reflect the high-elevation, cooler climate of the Carso region in northeastern Italy. A blend of malvasia and chardonnay, this nonvintage sparkling wine is balanced, with aromas of green apple, pear, a hint of floral and a touch of sage. Its bubbles and bright acidity will cut through the richness of the pork and sour cream.
2012 Zlatan Crljenak, Island of Hvar, Croatia A local ancient grape variety, crljenak is considered the origin of zinfandel, though it drinks in a more nuanced way. Notes of macerated raspberries, cherry, leather, thyme and baking spices are balanced by good acidity and medium tannins. This wine will work well with the sweetness of the onions and spices, while the tannins will stand up to the meat’s richness and the texture of the beans.
2013 Domaine le Couroulu, Rhone Valley, France This wine was produced in the village of Vacqueyras, between Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhone. Composed of 60 percent grenache (plus syrah and mourvedre), it’s an earthy, brooding wine with aromas of smoke, cassis, black pepper and dried herbs. The smoky notes will complement the pork, paprika and cumin, and the medium tannins will stand up well to the dish.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.