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A Wine Pairing for (Just About) Every Occasion

Kathryn Coker // Photo Credit: Emily Hart Roth

Photo: Kathryn Coker

Forget about pairing food and wine for a moment, and think back to the last time you had a glass. Where were you? Who were you with? How did you feel? Ever notice it’s often the occasion or the company we are in that determines how we enjoy a glass of wine? So instead of subscribing to the rules of pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with steak and roast chicken with Chardonnay, why not pair wines according to an occasion? I chatted with Kathryn Coker, owner of Esters Wine Shop and Bar and wine director of the Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants in Santa Monica, California, to learn about wine pairings for every occasion. Here are seven wines to pair with seven occasions...

Esters Wine Shop & Bar // Photo Credit: Emily Hart Roth

Photo: Esters Wine Shop and Bar

For when you just got hired or promoted…

“I mean, that’s pretty obvious to me, it’s Champagne,” says Kathryn. “And if I’m going to drink it, I’m going to have it with someone I know who is going to appreciate it, which is part of [the experience]. It's the ultimate celebratory drink.” Champagne has the reputation for being expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to thrown down $100 for a bottle. Kathryn suggests R.H. Coutier Brut which retails for under $50.

For when you quit your 9-5 to go freelance…

“I’d want a wine that I could sit with and get to know over the course of three hours and just really relax,” Kathryn notes. “I’d probably get a really great Barolo and cook an awesome dinner - maybe brisket - and celebrate being at home, and not at the job. You’d want something to savor, and for me, that’s Barolo.”