Pairing entwine White Wines

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This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and the stars of this weekend’s menu are entwine white wines.

Last month FN Dish announced that contrary to popular belief, red wines can, and surely should, be drunk in the summertime, since they pair so nicely with the rich, hearty meals of the season, like barbecue and grilled meats. This week, however, we’re celebrating the classics of summer drinking: white wines, specifically entwine Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.

Pinot Grigio:

Light and refreshing, entwine Pinot Grigio is a go-to wine on steamy summer nights when it seems like almost nothing can quench your thirst. It’s an easy-to-drink bottle with a crisp, fruity taste that almost everyone will enjoy.

If you’re looking for a creative appetizer that comes together in minutes, try Bobby's  Grilled Sea Scallops on Tortilla Chips With Avocado Puree and Jalapeno Pesto. He tops crunchy chips with tender scallops and a duo of Mexican-inspired sauces to create an eat-with-your-hands snack. Made with ripe, creamy avocados, lime juice and cilantro, the Avocado Puree will be the part of this appetizer that’s most complementary to the wine. Entwine has said that guacamole is a no-fail accompaniment to Pinot Grigio and this guac look-alike will offer many of the same flavors and textures.

Serve Giada’s Swordfish With Citrus Pesto as a meaty main dish that shines with bright, fresh flavors. To lighten up a traditional basil pesto, she adds the juice and zest of both an orange and a lemon, which complement perfectly the citrus elements of the wine. Though it’s elegant enough to serve at a party, this highest-rated dinner can be made so quickly that it's a weeknight favorite as well.

To round out the meal, toss Rachael Ray’s five-star Greek Salad, ready to eat in just 12 quick minutes. It’s made with in-season tomatoes, cool cucumbers and bell peppers, and is topped with a hearty slice of feta cheese. Entwine notes that Pinot Grigio works well with salty cheeses, like feta, so it’s a go-to glass with this Mediterranean-style salad.

Chardonnay:

A tad heavier than Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay is known for its fruity, sometimes-oaky tastes and dry texture. It can be paired with a number of flavors, though it’s frequently featured with rich, decadent dishes that boast butter-based sauces or creamy cheeses.

Giada’s Shrimp and Beef Skewers With Soy and Scallion Butter (pictured right) are a rich but simple array of appetizers that complement Chardonnay’s buttery feel. After marinating skewers of mushrooms, beef and shrimp in garlic-laced olive oil, Giada grills them for just a few minutes until the shrimp are opaque, the meat cooked and the mushrooms tender. Serve with an indulgent pat of homemade savory butter to marry the flavors of the kebabs and wine.

Embrace the fruity aspects of Chardonnay by cooking up a fruit-focused main dish to add to your spread. Filled with bright flavors, Grilled Chicken Salad With Apricot Glaze, Homemade Mustard Vinaigrette and Grape Salad is a light but filling dish that works well with the wine. Bobby first brushes grilled chicken breasts with an apricot jam-Chardonnay vinegar glaze then tops them with a sprinkle of earthy fresh thyme. Before serving, finish the cooked chicken with a salad of chile-laced red and green grapes and a drizzle of Dijon dressing made with a splash of Chardonnay vinegar.

Simple, refreshing and made almost entirely of fruit, Ina’s three-ingredient Grilled Pineapple is a must-try dessert that pairs beautifully with Chardonnay. To prepare, she simply slices a golden, juicy pineapple into wedges and grills them until they’re warmed and charred. Finish the pineapple with sweet honey before serving. If you’ve never before grilled fruit, watch Alton's short, easy-to-follow video to learn the best technique.

As is the case for pairing red wine, deciding what to serve with bottles of white wine ultimately should be determined by your own preferences and tastes, both for the wine and the food. Check out all four of entwine's easy-to-drink bottles, white Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay and red Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, to learn more about the distinct tastes of each.

Planning on making one of these dishes? Snap a photo and post it on Food Network’s Facebook wall.

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