For a wine to be a worthy partner to succotash, it needs to be as complex as the dish itself. Here are three whites that meet that requirement: a chardonnay from France, and blends from Italy and Spain. From freshness to heartiness, it’s all there, in the dish and the wines.
Corn and bacon succotash with rice
Cook 6 strips of bacon in a skillet until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate; crumble when cool. Add 1 onion, chopped, to skillet; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 7 minutes. Add ½ red bell pepper, chopped; 3 cloves garlic, minced; 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme; and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth; cook, stirring up any browned bits, 2 minutes. Add 4 ears corn, each cut into thirds, and 2 cups fresh lima beans; cook, turning corn often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon. Serve over rice. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe by Carol Mighton Haddix
Pairings by sommelier Alan Beasey, of The Purple Pig, as told to Michael Austin:
2015 Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles, Burgundy, France: This elegant, sophisticated wine’s flavors of white peach and golden apple lead to hints of spice and subtle toast. The sweetness of the corn will be enhanced by the wine’s fruit, and the smoky bacon will mesh perfectly with the wine’s rich body and that beautiful toastiness.
2015 Nino Negri Ca Brione, Lombardy, Italy: Here’s a full-bodied white blend to match the dish’s mix of hearty flavors. Ripe apple and citrus notes will boost the peppers and beans, while the wine’s subtle sweetness will complement the corn. Also, the wine’s heartiness will work well with the bacon and thyme.
2016 Bodegas Rafael Palacios Louro do Bolo, Valdeorras, Spain: Fresh and fruit-forward, this white blend has flavors of grapefruit and pear, plus a hint of nuttiness and toast from barrel aging. The wine’s crisp acidity will provide balance and bring out the brightness of the peppers and corn, while cutting through the bacon’s richness.