Amateur Chefs Strive to Impress Celebrity Palates -- Third Annual Rías Baixas Recipe Pairing Contest Launches

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Amateur cooks across the country are invited to put their culinary chops and Albariño's food-friendliness to the test by submitting their favorite original recipe for this year's wine and food pairing contest. This year, contestants will try to please the palates of talented celebrity judges including winner of Top Chef Season One, Harold Dieterle and Food & Wine magazine Deputy Wine Editor, Ray Isle. To enter, or for further recipe inspiration, information about the Rías Baixas region, or to view past winners, log on to http://www.riasbaixaswines.com/recipes/contest/index.php.

it's 'a no-brainer' for sommeliers to recommend Albariño as the ideal companion with a wide range of dishes.

Will it be bitter, sour, sweet, or tangy? Will it be Indian, Asian, French, or Mexican? Amateur chefs across the country are invited to submit their favorite original recipe for the Rías Baixas Albariño food and wine pairing contest. This year, contestants will try to please the palates of talented celebrity judges including winner of Top Chef Season One, Harold Dieterle and Food & Wine magazine Deputy Wine Editor, Ray Isle. So, put on your little white toque and get cookin'. We dare you.

Although Rías Baixas Albariño wines are traditionally paired with seafood, this delicious grape's crispness beautifully enhances the flavor of almost any ingredient, giving contestants a wide range of cuisines to match with this chameleon-like wine. Terry Coughlin, General Manager at the upscale New York City Indian Restaurant Tabla declared that "it's 'a no-brainer' for sommeliers to recommend Albariño as the ideal companion with a wide range of dishes." And it's true. The cool, white Albariño can be paired with just about any dish from southern fried tandoori chicken to a fennel, fig and fontina pizza (both winning recipes from 2007).

One grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 William-Sonoma Gift Card and a dinner for two at Perilla, Top Chef 1st Season Winner Harold Dieterle's restaurant (valued at $200). Two runners up will each receive a $250 William-Sonoma Gift Card. All three winners will receive a selection of Albariño wines. For featured recipes and more information, contestants can visit http://www.riasbaixaswines.com or gain inspiration from the professionals on the Rías Baixas blog.

Official rules and detailed information can be found at Rías Baixas Albariño Wines Website. Entries will be accepted from July 1, 2008 through October 15, 2008 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. Must be 21 to enter. Void where prohibited.

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Alison Seibert
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