Virtual Wine Pairing Dinner Party #1 Concludes

The inaugural W2WK Virtual Wine Pairing Dinner Party has – like all good things do – come to an end. I gotta say, this party was full of fun people from all over… we had participants in Arizona, Virginia, and North Carolina!

Virtual Party Recap: As a quick reminder as to what this Virtual Party is all about… I post a recipe and specific wines to try with it. You make the food and enjoy it with the wine. Then fill out a questionnaire sharing your thoughts about the wine-food pairing. At the close of the party, I post the results (anonymously) and in the end, we all gain a little Wine Know.  See original post for more details.

The Recipe: Pizza with Peppered Shrimp, Canadian Bacon, Mushrooms, and Feta Cheese (Recipe from Sid Goldstein’s, The Wine Lover’s Cookbook)

The Wine: Red Zinfandel and/or Sauvignon Blanc (W2WK Recommendations: Tobin James Ballistic Zin and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc)

W2WK Virtual Wine Pairing Dinner Party #1 Photo Gallery

Oh, the memories! Click on any photo to see the full size.


—————————— The Results ——————————

  • 11 Winos filled out the questionnaire
  • 8 of the 11 followed the recipe, and 3 got a little creative with it.
  • All 11 enjoyed either Sauvignon Blanc or Zinfandel with their pizza.

The Winos were asked about how specific flavors that they may have noticed while drinking the wines with the pizza: 

  • Sauvignon Blanc: The majority of the Winos noticed peach and nectarine flavors. 60% noticed apple and pear flavors.
  • Zinfandel: The majority noticed smokey, tobacco flavors in the wine as well as black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon.

The Winos were asked which specific flavors in the pizza were brought out by the wine:

  • Sauvignon Blanc brought out flavors of the: Shrimp and Feta
  • Zinfandel brought out flavors of the: Canadian Bacon, Feta, and Pizza Sauce

Additional comments regarding the Zinfandel:

  • “I noticed woody/earthy flavors.” 
  • “The Zinfandel was very peppery and added a nice spiciness to the pizza!”
  • “I tasted grape, but I feel a bit silly saying that because, well, duh! (or not?)” (This one is my favorite comment.)
  • “Strongest flavor was a smoky flavor.”

Additional comments regarding the Sauvignon Blanc:

  • “I thought the white paired better by being a fruity flavor.”
  • “The Sauvignon Blanc seemed to balance it in the opposite way from the Zinfandel – it smoothed out the flavors of the pizza and made it more mellow.”
  • “I noticed apricot flavors when tasting it with the pizza.”
  • “Tanginess – maybe from the lemon zest we added”
  • “I don’t usually like white wine, but i liked the pairing of Sauvignon Blanc with the flavors in the pizza.”
  • “I thought it was refreshing! I loved the mix of the roasted garlic and crushed red pepper with the fruity wine!”
  • “The white wine was amazing…very surprising that the red didnt pair more with pizza.”

 Additional comments about the food:

  • “We noticed we didn’t really taste the cheese, which is quite odd since we used extra. I was generous with the red pepper flakes, though, so perhaps the spice detracted from the cheese. We did taste the garlic, mushrooms, Canadian bacon and shrimp.”
  • “We also made a pepperoni pizza, which brought out a mango flavor in the sauvignon blanc. The sauvignon blanc also complements the dill very nicely.”
  • “I usually HATE Dill, but I decided to be brave and try is (albeit half the amount listed). I actually thought it was really delicious but would not have wanted any more of it.”
  • “I don’t think it needed the bacon.”
  • “We were excited to note how different the wine tasted depending on what we ate (i.e. shrimp alone brought out citrus flavor; sauce and garlic brought out smokey flavor).”


W2WK Virtual Party Tasting Notes: Everyone had such great comments above and basically said the same thing the experts say! Because this pizza has so many different flavors, it is a good example of how pairing two very different wines (a dry white and a big fruity red) can go well with the same dish. The Sauvignon Blanc serves as a contrast to the smokey canadian bacon flavors and accompanies the shrimp and feta flavors. The Zinfandel, on the other hand, really brings out the tomato sauce while working with all the other peppery flavors in the pizza. As Mr. Goldstein (the recipe originator) noted, these wine pairings are “an intriguing food and wine conundrum…”!  I don’t know about you but I am a fan of finding myself in food and wine conundrums.

General Comments regarding the W2WK Virtual Wine Pairing Dinner Party:

“We truly had a blast with this experience, from picking out the ingredients at the store, to choosing the wine and, of course, putting everything together. This is our first wine pairing experience and we absolutely loved it. I purposely stepped out of my comfort zone by choosing the Sauvignon Blanc. I much prefer red wine but thought this would be a great opportunity to give a white a chance. I’m very happy I did!  Our final comment is to ask when the next virtual wine pairing party is so we can mark our calendars… :)” -Virtual Party-Goer

Thank you much to everyone who participated!! I hope you all enjoyed your virtual party experience. And a special thanks to the Dreamer, who wins the prize for hosting the most  actual parties! If you missed this one, don’t worry… another Virtual Wine-Pairing Dinner Party is just around the corner!

If you have any more feedback you’d like to share about this event, please email me at



  1. What an awesome idea as an event. This is really cool. I need to make sure I look into joining one of these in the future.

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