Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Highlights

Open

SEARCH RECIPES

Enter an ingredient, course or keyword and get cooking!

 

AARP Real Possibilities

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

most popular
articles

Viewed

Lidia Bastianich on the Marriage of Food and Wine

Tips to find the best wines for roasting and toasting

As a child growing up in northeastern Italy, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich recalls being "swept up" in the excitement of the harvesting of grapes from her grandparents' vines. Today, she writes best-selling cookbooks, stars in an Emmy-nominated cooking show on public television and is chef/owner of half a dozen acclaimed restaurants across the U.S. Bastianich also produces award-winning wines in Friuli and Maremma, Italy, with her son, Joseph.

See also: Share your favorite recipes.

Chef Lidia Bastianich-Wine and food pairings and recipes

Chef Lidia Bastianich recommends tasting several wines first before cooking with it. — Photo by KCTS 9/PBS

Although she was raised appreciating wine and food together, Bastianich understands that most Americans were not. In her latest cookbook, Lidia's Italy in America — a companion to her public television series — Bastianich offers tips on developing an appreciation for wine, using wine in cooking and pairing wines with foods, including five of her own recipes.

Start small: "There is so much out there, so many countries that produce wine, I can understand how people can be intimidated," she says. "I think the best thing is to stick to one country at a time, and just begin tasting wines."

Ask the experts: Bastianich recommends seeking advice from those who know wines well — whether it is the sales clerk in the wine store, the sommelier in the restaurant, the expert on a television show or the author of a wine book. Then just relax and taste.

Use all of your senses: "You want to smell the aroma, see its color, roll it around in your mouth, use all of your senses," she says. "Tasting and developing a palate for anything is like developing a great library. You need to take it volume by volume, familiarize yourself with each and store it away." 

Skip the cooking wine: Bastianich cautions against using products marketed as "cooking wine," recommending instead a quality wine that you would want to drink on its own. "Remember that what you want is the flavor of the wine," she says. "Whether it's a nice, aromatic white wine or a really jammy red wine, you want those flavors to add to whatever you're cooking."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Pepperoni Pizza, Papa Johns Superbowl promotion for AARP members

Members receive 25% off regular price menu items at Papa John's

Outback Steak

Members save 15% Mon-Thurs & during weekend lunch at Outback Steakhouse.

McCormick and Schmicks (McCormick and Schmicks)

Members save 10% every day when dining at McCormick and Schmick's.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.