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For Every Pennsylvania Food, There Is a Pennsylvania Wine

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Determining what is a native Pennsylvania cuisine is a complex but fun undertaking, as what we typically eat in the state is a combination of many ethnic heritages as well as a selection of what produce grows well locally or is found in the wild.

But however you determine what Pennsylvania food is, there is a PA wine that will pair well with it.

For example, what could be more native Pennsylvania than mushrooms – both those grown commercially in Chester County or found in the state’s forests and meadows?  The woodsy, earthy flavors of mushroom soup, grilled portobellos, or mushroom tarts all have a perfect wine match in Pennsylvania Pinot Noir, itself gamy and rooty in flavor.

The German influences found in Amish and Mennonite cooking include lots of pork and sauerkraut, all of which go well with three Pennsylvania wines – Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Traminette from a relatively new grape cross that grows particularly well in our state.

Tomato-based Italian-American sauces that find their way into a variety of dishes from pasta to pizza tend to match well with red wines with good acidity, and often local Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as early-picked Chambourcin, fill the bill admirably.

Sweeter white wines, whether from Riesling grapes, hybrids from as Vidal Blanc or native American varieties such as Niagara can stand the heat when it comes to spicy Asian foods that are increasing found in larger urban areas such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Mediterranean cuisine, especially from Greek-American communities in Pennsylvania, often feature eggplant and other vegetables, cheeses such as feta, as well as lamb and goat meat.  All these are right up Pennsylvania Merlot’s culinary alley.

But what about Pennsylvania Chardonnay?  Pennsylvania is famous for its poultry, and Chardonnay matches well with chicken in all forms – grilled, baked and in summer salads.

And we couldn’t talk about Pennsylvania foods without including Philly’s famous cheese steaks.  Any red wine from Bordeaux grapes will do – the two Cabernets, Merlot and the increasingly popular Malbec – as all combine the needed fruitiness and acidity.

To find out more about individual wineries and the 12 wine trails located throughout Pennsylvania, log onto www.PAWineLand.com.  The site also has maps and contact information for the more than 150 wineries spread across the state as well as wine tips and wine information.  And if you’re on the road, find nearby wineries by using the mobile website at m.pennsylvaniawine.com.