Food and Wine – Perfect Pairings

food-and-wine(Family Features) When it comes to pairing food and wine, it doesn’t have to be complicated. To create a perfect pairing, the secret is to choose a wine with a fruit-focused style, which will compliment many types of foods. It isn’t necessary to be a master sommelier to make successful pairings! No matter what your profession, having a passion for food and wine can go a long way to making delicious pairings that friends and family will enjoy.

For instance, professional golfers on tour with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Laura Diaz, Jill McGill and Kristy McPherson have a passion for the game of golf – and also for pairing delicious food and wine. These LPGA players make perfect pairings of their own, by matching their favorite simple recipes with food-friendly wines, like varietals from California’s Mirassou Winery(r).

Kristy McPherson, LPGA Tour member since 2007, suggests that on a hurried evening, a warm and toasty Vegetable, Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella Panini and Pinot Noir make a perfect pairing for a light supper.

For more LPGA players’ recipe pairings and wine pairing ideas, visit

Did you know that Mirassou is the official wine of the LPGA? To celebrate this pairing, Mirassou has announced the Perfect Pairings online cookbook, available free at The cookbook features delicious recipes and wine pairings from LPGA Tour members, along with video golf tips from the pros.

Vegetable, Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella Panini
Pair with Mirassou California Pinot Noir

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes total

8 large, thin slices portabella mushroom
8 very thin slices red onion
4 very thin lengthwise slices zucchini, halved
4 large, very thin slices peeled eggplant
Olive oil and garlic salt
4 large strips roasted red pepper (about the size of the sandwich)
8 slices grainy bread, sliced 3/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons pesto
6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Brush mushrooms, onions, zucchini and eggplant lightly with olive oil. Cook in a large skillet (in batches) over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side to lightly brown. Remove from skillet and sprinkle with garlic salt; set aside. Spread one side of 4 bread slices with pesto. Top with half the cheese, equal amounts of vegetables and the remaining cheese. Brush bread lightly with olive oil and cook in a panini press for about 5 minutes or until bread is golden and cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe tip: No panini press? Place sandwiches in a large skillet over medium heat. Press down with a large plate to compress sandwich and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and repeat.

Courtesy of Family Features

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