Samantha Capaldi, a.k.a. Samantha Sommelier, is a certified sommelier through the International Culinary Center and a gourmet food connoisseur with a passion for making wine approachable. Her spirit of fun is contagious and her wine pairing tips are exceptional.
I discovered Samantha while exploring Instagram for pairing recommendations. The featured photo is one of my favorite soup recipes by Mimi Thorisson, creamy carrot ginger with turmeric. Samantha came to mind when I was pondering pairing ideas for this soup and other winter comfort food favorites like kale and sausage stew or savory chicken and dumplings with rosemary and sage.
In this interview we discuss pairing wine with soup, wine pairing inspiration, her favorite wine regions here in the United States, and some of her favorite wine apps.
In the winter, I enjoy making hearty soups and stews. Pairing wine with soup is a bit of challenge! How could we pair a creamy sausage kale soup, chicken and herb dumplings, or a carrot ginger soup?
I agree, soup pairings can be tricky and take some trial and error experiments to master! Here are my tips for the soups you listed….
Creamy Sausage Kale: A light to medium bodied red wine, like Chilean Carmenere! This wine will compliment the sausage but add just enough grit to balance the cream in this soup!
Chicken and Herb Dumplings: A classic off dry German Riesling!
Carrot Ginger Soup: Gewurztramine.
What continually inspires your food and wine pairings? Do you have favorite restaurants, books, or any specific Sommelier classes? Do you travel for inspiration?
I would say what inspires my food and wine pairings the most is feedback I get from my clients whether it’s through in home tastings or social media. I love sharing with my clients and followers new wines that I am trying on a weekly basis and the first questions I typically receive are
1. What should I pair this wine with?
2. Where can I buy this wine from?
3. Do you have a good recipe for this?
After receiving these questions my brain is going a mile a minute to brainstorm the best and creative pairings! To continually keep my somm skills up to par I am regularly tasting new wines, traveling to new wine regions, experience a restaurant’s updated wine list, and researching on my own. What makes the wine industry so fascinating is how fast it moves and changes. I could literally learn something new about wine every single day and that is what keeps me passionate and determined during my food and wine pairing adventures!
What are some of your favorite wine regions in the United States?
Very tough question because almost every single state in the US is making wine in some way or another, ha! I would have to say my favorites that I have been able to visit and get to know most recently are Lodi, CA; Livermore,CA; Santa Ynez; Walla Walla, WA and Willamette Valley, OR.
Do you keep a food or wine journal? How do you keep track of your favorite vintages? Do you stock up on favorites or are you always trying something new?
Through out the years I have experimented with food and wine journals and I always seem to go back to using my phone! It’s easiest for me personally since I always have it on me and I can quickly take a picture of the wine. I typically track and save my favorite wines through apps such as “Vivino” and “Delectable”.
Feature Photo & Photo 1 by Oddur Thorisson, recipe by Mimi Thorisson. One of my all time favorite soup recipes.