Though Lorelai would undoubtedly choose coffee over wine any day, Sookie St James, chef at the Independence Inn, and then Dragonfly Inn in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, understands the importance of a good wine and food pairing.
Considering that the Gilmore Girls series was based in a fictional Connecticut town in Litchfield County, characters in the show may have been familiar with local wines. Right? We could only hope. Especially if you’re Taylor Doose, owning the town’s only market, or Sookie, making sure her food is best-represented.
In honor of the new Netflix revival that debuted November 25, we’ve put together a few pairings from Litchfield County wineries that even Sookie would be proud of:
Wine to Pair with Magic Risotto
Inspired by “The Deer Hunters” Season 1, Episode 4
When food critic Lucent Mills reviewed the Independence Inn, giving Sookie’s cooking a rave review, he noted that her famous risotto was “Fine.” Sookie runs after the waiter, asking what wine Mills had ordered. Riesling! RIESLING! (evidently comparable to drinking battery acid) She was determined the tepid review was due to the bad wine pairing.
There is no way the risotto was less than incredible, as Sookie had made this dish for her dying mother, who then lived three more years. “She was supposed to be dead! The doctor said she wouldn’t make it through the night,” she recalled.
In a craze, she prepares the meal again, finds the proper wine pairing, and tracks the writer down through her network of culinary friends. She shanghais the critic at his house (wildly inappropriate), and hands him a silver server of risotto and a glass of the right wine through the door, begging he try it again.
The perfect pairing: To pair with a delicate, creamy risotto, you would pair the wine depending on the other ingredients you use, not the rice (much like pasta). For instance, a mushroom risotto would pair best with an earthier, more savory wine, while a seafood risotto would be a bit more crisp. To pair with Sookie’s Magic Risotto, I’d suggest Miranda Vineyard’s Chardonnay. A sophisticated, full-bodied wine.
Wine to Pair with Sookie’s 12-course Meal
Inspired by “That’ll Do Pig” Season 3, Episode 10
“Twelve courses, each paired with a specific wine,” Sookie shuffles through the bustling kitchen while talking to Lorelai, who of course says she’s over the top on a monumental scale. To cater to the Gilmores, especially Richard’s mother Trix, a regular dinner just won’t do.
The perfect pairings: The amazing flavor profiles from DiGrazia Vineyards’ offerings would be excellent pairings with a 12-course meal. From their Autumn Spice wine to dry whites and fruit wines – Sookie would never be without a great pairing from their unique selection.
Wine that Emily Gilmore Would have On-hand
Inspired by “Emily Says Hello” Season 5, Episode 9
We all know Emily has class. Though her and Richard (R.I.P.) went through some shaky times throughout the series, she was always a great hostess with a fine selection of wines and spirits. Emily notes in this episode, “I’d offer you wine, but all the wine I have has to breathe.” Emily would most certainly have all the top-regarded Reserve wines on-hand, like Sunset Meadow Vineyard’s Reserve Merlot, or aged bottles of their St. Croix. But Richard wouldn’t be caught having two glasses of wine at lunch.
Wine that Lorelai would have to Tolerate her Family
Inspired by “You’ve been Gilmored” Season 6, Episode 14
Luke: Maybe we could skip the drinks, have the dinner, and be done.
Lorelai: Skip the drinks?! Luke, you don’t skip the one activity that makes the rest of the evening miraculously tolerable. The drinks fortify us. The drinks give us strength. The drinks get us drunk.
Lorelai may not always choose wine, but when she does: Haight-Brown’s Picnic Red comes to mind. A casual, easy drinking red wine to cater to her sweet tooth (fruity and fresh), and take the edge off her family. Can be served chilled (like Emily’s heart) or at room temperature.
We also know from Season 3, Episode 5, “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis” when Jon Hamm sweeps in as Peyton Sanders at the auction, that they have a mutual love for Merlot, but unfortunately nothing else in common.
Wine found at Doose’s Market (any time other than the night of the Big News)
Inspired by “New and Improved Lorelai Gilmore” Season 6, Episode 1
“Where do you keep the champagne?” Lorelai asks when Taylor lets her and Luke into the market after the big bike race (and their spontaneous engagement). So many notable quotes here, from Taylor berating Lorelai (“You know, if you feel you have to be drunk to be with him maybe…”) and Luke referencing a brilliant poet with an unfortunate end (“No wine, no beer, no cooking sherry! It’s like Dylan Thomas just blew through town.”). The bikers wiped Doose’s out, leaving only a $5.99 bottle of champagne, but Taylor did come to the rescue with Zima in back…
If Taylor had any quality Champagne, we believe it most certainly would have been Hopkins Vineyard’s Sparkling Wine Estate Bottled – Gold Label from grapes harvested in Warren, CT.
This January-April, follow the LITCHFIELD HILLS WINTER WINE TRAIL. Bring your passport to all six vineyards to be eligible for great prizes, including a special 5-hour wineries limousine tour, overnight stays, a chocolate experience tour, and gift certificates to local restaurants.
We can only wish that Gilmore Girls characters would be excited to join us! (Except Rory and the last four words of the revival).