More about our experts
By day, he runs a consulting firm called Hydrant in San Francisco. By night, he pens Vinography (vinography . com), an influential wine blog.
A master sommelier in charge of the wine program at The Boiler Room in Omaha, Neb., Becker is also a partner in WineToMatch, a wine-pairing software venture (winetomatch.com).
William R. Tisherman
Known in the wine trade as "Tish," he writes about wine on the satirical blog The Wine Skewer (wineskewer.wordpress.com) and develops custom wine events through Wine For All, based in Katonah, N.Y.
What the experts' recommended pairings to tame these difficult foods...
Very dry sparkling wine, such as Sancerre. -- "Need something tart and acidic to match the vegetal greenness of asparagus."
Gruner veltliner -- "Gruner has the acidity to match the sharp green flavor."
Gruner veltliner, Sancerre -- "Austrian gruner is my favorite all-purpose veggie-friendly wine. For more oomph, Sancerre adds a dimension of bright greenness."
German riesling, Alsatian pinot gris -- "A little sweetness, along with good acidity, complements the rich earthiness of artichokes."
Gavi, trebbiano -- "A bright lemony accent perfect for artichokes."
Unoaked chardonnay, New Zealand sauvignon blanc -- "Looking here for lean, clean whites, preferably with a lemony tilt, to meet the artichoke's pungency head-on."
Prosecco, cava -- "You first want something low-alcohol, and the bubbles seem to mitigate the heat and make flavors more aromatic."
Riesling, lambrusco -- "Riesling's sweetness and low alcohol counter the spicy heat of chili peppers. I also like low-alcohol reds like lambrusco."
Brut sparkling wine, off-dry riesling -- "Most often, hot stuff calls for a cleansing (bubbly) or cooling (off-dry) effect."
Rosé of pinot noir or grenache -- "Rosés end up tasting a little sweeter and fruitier than normal, which is a nice effect."
Sauvignon blanc -- "There's a piercing and persistent acidity in sauvignon that is ideal with sharp foods."
Cru Beaujolais -- "If dealing with salad dressing or a very tart savory sauce, counter the sour vinegar with vibrant fruit of a smooth but fruity Beaujolais such as Brouilly."
Looking to delve deeper into food and wine pairing options? These books offer plenty to chew on:
--"Everyday Dining With Wine," by master sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson
--"Food, Wine & Friends," by British food journalist Fiona Beckett
--"Perfect Pairings," by master sommelier Evan Goldstein
--"Wine Enthusiast Magazine Wine & Food Pairings Cookbook"