There are few things in this world that go together better than wine and food. Missourians know this to be especially true.
Missouri wine country boasts more than 125 wineries and a history dating back more than 160 years. Show-Me State winemakers produce very food-friendly wines that pair perfectly with local fare and the Missouri way of life.
Missouri is well known for some truly unique foods that you have to try in order to fully understand what all the fuss is about. These dishes are legendary and here are the wines that pair with them:
Kansas City has a long and lauded history as one of the world’s major cattle markets. So, it comes at no surprise that two of the most famous foods from the area are the KC Strip Steak and Kansas City Style Barbecue.
KC Strip Steak + Norton
The KC Strip Steak is a particularly tender cut of beef taken from the short loin, the middle section of a steer’s rib cage. A classic KC Strip calls for a glass of hearty, bold, dry Missouri Norton. Norton is the Official Missouri State Grape. You can’t get a more Missouri meal than that!
Kansas City Style Barbecue + Norton and Catawba
Kansas City is well known for its barbecue, and rightly so; there are more than 100 barbecue restaurants. Also, Kansas City is home to the Kansas City Barbecue Society, a 10,000+ member strong organization of barbecue enthusiasts. Kansas City Barbecue pairs well with a glass of Norton or Catawba, both Native American grapes.
St. Louis is known as the birthplace of many specialty dishes, but few compare to the notoriety of Toasted Ravioli and Gooey Butter Cake.
Toasted Ravioli + Chambourcin
While the first batch of Toasted Ravioli may have been an accident, it’s no longer happenstance to see them on the menu at a wide range of restaurants worldwide. The crunchy, deep-fried pasta is served dusted with parmesan and accompanied by a marinara-style dipping sauce. A glass of Missouri Chambourcin, a dry red wine known for its earthiness, is the perfect accompaniment to these savory morsels.
Gooey Butter Cake + Sweet Sparkling Wine
Gooey Butter Cake is as decadent as its name suggests, and well worth every bite. Believed to have originated in the 1930s, this dessert has become a tradition on family holiday and restaurant tables alike. This truly St. Louis treat pairs well with a sweet or semi-sweet sparkling wine. The bubbles help cut through the richness.
Cashew Chicken + Chardonel
Springfield-style Cashew Chicken has spread far and wide, but it is a true Missouri original. (Its creator, David Leong, reports seeing a sign for it in Hong Kong.) The dish consists of bite-size pieces of crispy-on-the-outside, tender-inside chicken, smothered in a salty, savory brown sauce and topped with chopped green onions and crushed cashews. A glass of semi-dry Missouri Chardonel, a luscious white wine, complements this dish very well.
Cherry Mash + Norton
An original candy created and produced in St. Joseph, Cherry Mash is thought to be the third oldest candy bar in the country. Its soft, cherry-flavored center, made from real maraschino cherries, is surrounded by chopped roasted peanuts and thick chocolate. This original confection is perfectly matched with a glass of Missouri Norton, known for cherry notes.
Ozark Pudding + Vignoles
Famous for being the favorite food of Missouri native, President Harry S. Truman, Ozark Pudding is a dry, fruit custard with nuts – black walnuts are preferred, but pecans may be used. The majority of the annual harvest of wild black walnuts comes from Missouri. This classic dessert pairs well with a glass of Missouri Vignoles, a fruit forward semi-sweet or off-dry white wine.
These Missouri foods are famous for good reason. Add them to your culinary bucket list, paired with the perfect award-winning Missouri wine.
Christa Holtzclaw is a marketing specialist with the Missouri Wine and Grape Board.