Show-Me Dinner Hour

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A primary rule of wine and food pairings calls for selecting wines produced in the same area as the food. The bounty of the Show-Me State makes it ridiculously easy to match locally grown foods with Missouri wines. Try this vino lineup for your next locavore dinner.

Start things off with something light and crisp: Stone Hill Vidal Blanc. This dry but fruity white wine is a refreshing alternative to Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, whether served as an aperitif or with appetizers. The bright melon and tropical fruit flavor with rich oak and spice hints is a tasty accompaniment to creamy hors d’oeuvres, smoked trout bites or tenderloin tartare.

The lush berry and plum flavors of Montelle Chambourcin bring out the best in pork entrées or Missouri beef. The aroma of ripe plums and blackberries tantalizes; traces of vanilla and cocoa underscore the smooth flavor of plums with a hint of tannin and a lingering finish. The rich fruit flavor gives versatility to this medium-bodied wine. Try pairing it with a cheese course, fruit-dressed salads, pot roast, pork loin or pasta; it also goes well with barbecue, mac ’n cheese or spicy chicken dishes.

Lamb and native wild game get along famously with Missouri’s premium wine, Norton. The earthy dark fruit flavors and bright acid balance meld with the complexities of tender lamb or savory venison. St. James Norton mingles aromas of mixed berries with black fruit flavors of cherries and blackberries and a touch of vanilla and pepper spice. It is a smooth and mellow sip you can start enjoying while you’re waiting for those chops and steaks to finish on the grill.

For dessert, there’s the elegant Adam Puchta Signature Port. The velvety dessert wine from Norton grapes is like a ruby port, loaded with soft cherry-berry flavors and smoky traces of figs and dried fruit. It pairs well with a variety of treats to finish off your repast — fruit desserts and dishes with chocolate, caramel, pecans and dates — or as a rich toast to a not-so-sweet finish of seasonal fruit, chutneys, spiced nuts, olives or cheeses with artisanal breads.

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