The Perfect Match |Pairing Wine With Food
Wine connoisseurs will say that there are specific golden rules when it comes to pairing wine with certain foods, but personal taste does play a big factor. Still, with the huge variety of wines available there are few principles that should make it easier to successfully match up a nice glass of red with your favorite meal.
If you’re hosting a dinner party or a cozy meal for two then choosing the right type of red wine can make the meal work even better.
Contrast and compare
The first thing to remember is that the flavors exhibited through specific wines come from a combination of ingredients, including sugar, tannins, fruits and, naturally, alcohol. Likewise, food will also contain specific components, namely fat, sugar, salt, acids etc. The main idea when matching up your vin rouge and food is to find the complement or contrast, for sometimes opposites do attract. If your meal is heavy and rich you may want to offset a little by choosing a dry wine or you may wish to add to that richness by choosing a wine with a similar flavoring.
Sticking with the classics
If you’re a beginner to the food and wine pairing world then there are some tried and tested classics that will make it easier to choose your bottle. Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance, is a red wine loved the world over and the full-bodied versions of the tipple work like a dream with rich, hearty roast beef or lamb dishes. If steak is on the menu, why not wash it down with an Argentine Malbec, whereas Merlot will be a treat with any succulent roast chicken, duck or turkey that comes out of the oven.
Fancy a spot of pizza? Well, some people equate pizza with children’s food, doing this delicious food disrespect. A nice glass of Italian Barbera from North Italy will bring out the flavor of those juicy tomatoes.
Sure, you can play it safe with your wine, but experiment a little and you might just come up with some surprisingly tasty combinations. However, do keep in mind the specific elements of your dish, such as the saltiness, sweetness and bitterness of your food, when choosing your wine — a glass of red with a very sweet and fruity flavor might not go together well with a spicy chicken curry. Also keep in mind the texture of both your food and wine; light wines work well with light dishes, but you can mix it up if you want to try contrasting light dishes with medium bodied wines.
Pairing up food with wine is something of a skill as well as an age old tradition. No matter what type of meal you’re serving up you’ll easily find a red wine to match. However, trial, error and experimentation is a big part of the fun of this task and it shouldn’t take too long before you come up with a new wine to match your favorite food.
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