Best Wine and Food Pairings
Wine is often a part of social events, especially during important occasions. Whether it is a romantic dinner for two in your favorite restaurant or a grand feast at home with numerous guests, wine adds a certain zest to an event and enhances each dining experience.
Although some people (like those who own a wine rack bra) prefer to consume wine on its own, others enjoy the complementary combination or refreshing contrast of wine and food pairings. Aspects like acidity, sweetness, and flavor intensity, are all considered in choosing the right match of wine and food.
Generally, the best pairs come with a balance of the characteristics of the wine and food prepared. If you need a little inspiration, here are some tips for the best wine and food pairings on different occasions:
Red wine relations
Whether it’s light, medium, or bold red wine, some of the best food matches involve:
- Dishes with red sauce (tomato-based) such as Spaghetti Bolognese and a deep red Barbera
- BBQ-favorites and a bold red Malbec
- Grenache and some roasted vegetables
- Smokey ham and a medium-bodied yet fruity red Zinfandel
White wine combos
White wine may be fruity, full-bodied, or highly acidic. Some of the pairs can:
- Involve white sauce, as in a Colombard and a creamy chicken dish
- Be with an oil-rich fish such as salmon (complemented by aged white Rioja)
- Go well with seafood such as Chardonnay and lobsters, crab, and shrimp
- Be as fine as pâté and a Chenin Blanc
Cheese and Wine
On the other hand, cheese boards that offer all sorts and sizes of cheese can use both red and white wine varieties. You can go all scientific, or you can simply match:
- red wine and cheese that are equal in intensity (like a Pinot Noir with Gruyère)
- a German Riesling with cheese fondue for a sweet and salty mix
- champagne with a cheddar cheese slice
- regional favorites such as Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese
Typically, the sauce, the cooking method (like roasted or grilled), the combination of spices and ingredients that add flavor, and the designated food group (red or white meat, or dairy as in cheese) of your dish, all have an impact on the kind of wine you can pair it with. No matter what combination you choose, the best wine and food pairings either enhance characteristics that are shared by both the wine and the dish it is served with or creates a contrast between different flavors.
Whether you go for the traditional pairs or mix and match for fun, a glass of wine will always be an interesting addition when paired with any dish. As you grow your love of drinking wine, you will also grow your personal preferences on which dishes are good with which wine. Not all wines are created equal, so you will develop your own preference for certain brands as well. Eventually, as you swirl and sip, you will come to realize that good food served in the presence of great wine will always be a pair to remember.