Top pairings | What wine to pair with corn

Pairings | Cornbread

What wine to pair with corn

Eating corn on the cob is one of the pleasures of high summer especially now there are so many different ways to cook it. But if you love corn or sweetcorn what wine should you pair with it?

There’s one wine that really stands out for me and that’s chardonnay - especially when you slather the corn in butter. But grilled corn too works well especially with a full bodied oaky chardonnay (though see my note below about south-east asian flavours)

Other rich whites worth trying are oaked white rioja, Spanish godello, fiano from southern Italy and old vine chenin blanc or Cape white blends from South Africa

Corn is of course a key ingredient in Mexican cuisine - think tortillas, tacos and tamales which may all inspire you to drink beer but wine can work too depending on the filling. (See this post on tacos)

If you’re serving corn alongside barbecued meat, on the other hand, you may want to go for a red like a mencia (again from Spain), rioja or a grenache or GSM blend

Griddled corn with chilli and lime and other south-east Asian flavours

Once you introduce zesty lime, chilli coriander or other Asian flavours think dry riesling or New Zealand sauvignon blanc rather than chardonnay.

Sauvignon would work with a corn salad with feta too, as would assyrtiko.

Corn fritters

Fried food goes with bubbles and fritters are no exception. Nothing fancy - a cava or a crémant would be perfect

Or for a non-alcoholic pairing you might want to try these sweetcorn, feta and green chilli waffles with pink grapefruit juice, a previous match of the week.

Cornbread or muffins

Unlikely to be served on their own so pair with whatever else is on the plate whether it’s a barbecue or brunch. As a matter of interest I once found a coffee-infused pale ale was brilliant with a jalapeno cornbread! Coffee too if it's brunch, obviously.

Creamed corn or corn chowder

We’re back at chardonnay again - a fresh creamy one rather than a full-bodied oaky one, I suggest. Chablis, for example. Or a smooth Italian white like a Gavi di Gavi or a Soave

Tamales

Although the stuffing is based on corn (masa) it’s generally mixed with another ingredient which may be more important to match. Chardonnay again would work with seafood or chicken but if it’s pork, beef or lamb try a young rioja or other tempranillo, a petite sirah or a malbec. (There’s a good explanation about tamales on the Spruce Eats website for those of you who are not familiar with them)

See also Ottolenghi's slow-cooked chicken with a crisp corn crust

Polenta

Generally served with a stew or roast meat so I’d again be inclined to focus on that though maybe make it an Italian red like barbera.

Image by Rimma Bondarenko at shutterstock.com

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