Jambalaya Wine Pairing

So, this year’s weather has so far has been full of basically a warm winter, leading into a cool spring. Normally I reserve making something like Jambalaya for the cooler days, and since it has been raining so much, I am making it tonight. Why? It is one of those warm, homecooked meals that really makes a gloomy, rain filled day brighter, and it is also one of my favorite dishes to make.

Chef John Besh has a great video on how to put together a delicious Jambalaya.  To take a look at how he does it, check out this video:

Now, I admit, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of ways to make this dish of Creole deliciousness, but I take my lead from Chef John Besh with a few minor variations:

  1. I replace pork shoulder with ground turkey
  2. I use Poblano Peppers (without the seeds) in my dish to give it a little more smokiness and little zing with the heat.

Trust me, with patience through the progression, this Jambalaya recipe is pretty incredible. Now, what to pair with it. A lot of people liken this pairing with gumbo, which would be a black lager/schwarzbier, like Dixie Voodoo Lager (Kostritzer Schwarzbier and Devil’s Backbone “Schwartz Bier” are a perfect alternative—available at the Vienna store).

But if you want to take the wine route, to me, there is no better pairing than Jambalaya and Rosé. Why? Crisp, acid and fruit driven dry Rosé pairs beautifully with the seafood and andouille sausage that Jambalaya traditionally have.  My choice for this particular dish is the Seven Hills Dry Rosé of Cabernet Franc. 88 Points from Stephen Tanzer and we sell it for only $9.99 (available in Great Falls and Vienna).


  • Josh Mason

If I only had one more bottle of wine to drink, what would it be?

I don’t plan on going anywhere, but it is always interesting to think that if I were in a hypothetical situation where I knew that the end was coming, what would that last bottle be?

There are so many wines out in the world that are wonderful. From Montelena to Mollydooker and everyone in between, it is almost a fool’s task to try and narrow down something like wine. Almost.

There are wines for occasion like Champagne, and wines for great dinners like, well, Champagne, so maybe that narrows it down a little bit. Then again, maybe I’ll have steak, so Cabernet Sauvignon would be appropriate. Then again, Cabernet Franc is one of my two favorite grapes (Gewurztraminer being the other one), so maybe a bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc.

There is a method to my madness…That rambling in the past paragraph is to show that in wine, variety is the spice of life. You don’t have to get locked down into one wine because it can become boring after a while.

I see a lot of people that lock on to just Pinot Grigio or Moscato or Cabernet Sauvignon without trying anything else. I guess that I fail to grasp the concept of only having one wine. When I eat, I don’t eat the same thing every time. I don’t wear the same clothes every day. I drink a wide variety of beer. In my opinion, in order to appreciate wine, you must have an open mind.

Now that I have narrowed my wine choice down to nothing, I will say this. My last bottle of wine probably won’t have a specific identification because it doesn’t really matter to me what it is… I have had amazing wines in my short lifetime. I have had Bordeaux from 1966 and 1982. I have had stunning Napa Cab. I can go on, but one of the best wines I have had, at least in recent times was a bottle of Lobetia Spanish Red Blend. I took it down to my parent’s house in Forest, Virginia, and as we drank it, we listened to Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash till 2 in the morning. We spoke more than we had in years and in that moment, everything in the world was right. The wine didn’t make the moment great; the moment made the wine great.


  • Josh Mason

Why we don't discount

When I lived in South Carolina, I ran a very, VERY large independent wine/beer/liquor store. Our prices were more than competitive with our competition. Now, this is common in the South Carolina wine scene where the best price is always sought out, forcing the price down to its lowest, reasonable price. Then I moved back to Virginia...

I still get sticker shock when I see other wine stores charge obscene prices for their wine. However, what is most insulting is that they say that if you buy an arbitrary amount of wine, you will get a discount. I'll put it better in an example:

"Chateau Pickpocket: $25.00/bottle

If you buy 6 bottles of Chateau Pickpocket: $22.50/bottle

If you buy 12 bottles of Chateau Pickpocket: $21.25/bottle

If you buy 24 bottles of Chateau Pickpocket: $18.75/bottle"

Why don’t they simply sell the wine for $18.75 the whole time?

I never really understood the quantity discount where you want to force people to buy more product. Where else do you see this? Unless it is something like a "10 for $10 promotion, you don't see it in food pricing... You don't see it much in retail (I know I'm probably forgetting something...). I mean, if I get 10 steaks at a restaurant, do I have to pay for the fat or is that discounted off?

Wine, for some reason has become a business based in quantity deals, when I buy and when you buy. If I buy 3 cases of wine from "Distributor A," I will be able to pay much less than if I only bought a few bottles (called "frontline" prices). What's more is that my markup is insanely low, so low that I come dangerously close to losing money if I were to offer a discount, so you should look at it this way: you get a discount from bottle one. Now, I don't want to make accusations to any store, but I want to pose this question: if they can afford to give you a "25%" off discount, how much are they marking it up to begin with?

It doesn't sound like a discount. It sounds like a ransom.

  • Josh Mason