During my latest chili and wine pairing adventure, I started with the wine I wanted to serve. I had another bottle of the 2012 Halter Ranch Syrah from Paso Robles waiting in the wings. It paired nicely with this grilled tuna, which was served with a mix of grilled eggplant and spicy peppers. I had a notion that it could also do very nicely with a chili.
One key that I’ve found to chili and wine pairing is to make a chili that is flavorful but not overwhelmingly hot. You start making 5 alarm style chili, then you are going to need to defer to beer. I made this chili with some healthy ground turkey, and a nice blend of spices to give it plenty of flavor without overwhelming heat. Though I prefer wine with the chili, I did use some beer in recipe. And yes, a little bit of chocolate goes in to deepen the flavor.
Ingredients and full recipe details are down in the EasyRecipe card toward the end of the post. This is a pretty simple recipe. Get the veggies sautéing in a large pot, then brown the ground turkey.
After the turkey has browned, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the dried spices, cover and simmer for at least an hour.
After an hour, add the lime and beer simmer, and simmer for 1 more hour.
Serve the chili in bowls with the toppings. Avocado is a very nice touch here! I found we needed less cheese and sour cream with the healthy fruit in the mix. Enjoy!
Wine Pairing: The Halter Ranch Syrah has a big fragrance of violets and forest floor. I got blackberry jam and white pepper taste. The Syrah opens nicely and shows a lot of finesse on the long finish. There’s a depth and complexity to the wine that works nicely with the lively flavors of the chili. This wine definitely qualifies as a good pairing for a flavorful, mild to medium chili. Give it a try!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped, most of the seeds removed (a few left for a bit of extra kick!)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 cups canned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups red kidney beans, cooked (I started with dried)
- 1½ tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, and paprika
- ½ tsp oregano
- generous pinch cinnamon
- juice from ½ lime
- ½ cup beer
- 1 tsp bittersweet chocolate
- for toppings: grated cheddar, chopped avocado, sour cream
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the vegetables through carrot as they are chopped.
- Next, add the ground turkey and brown, about 10 minutes.
- After the turkey has browned, add the tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the dried spices, cover and simmer for at least an hour.
- After an hour, add the lime and beer simmer, and simmer for 1 more hour.
- Serve the chili in bowls with the toppings. Avocado is a very nice touch here! I found we needed less cheese and sour cream with the healthy fruit in the mix. Enjoy!
Full disclosure: I received a complimentary sample of the wine from the winery. As always, the opinions and recipe are entirely my own.