The Art of Pairing Wine and Food
The world of wine can be an overwhelming space. If you’re a seasoned wine drinker, have taken a course, or wine is simply a new-found passion and you’re wanting to discover new things, it can be mind boggling how much information is out there and difficult to figure out where to begin. Different countries have distinct ways of letting you know what’s in a bottle. Some label just by region or appellation, and unless you know which wine varietals are permitted to grow where, how are you going to know that a white wine from Condrieu in France is a Viognier, or that a Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a GSM blend? These things take time, but everyone can learn the basics. The best rule to follow is try new wines to expand what you like and then drink what you enjoy!
So where do you begin exploring to find those wines that makes your taste buds dance? Everyone always asks, “do you like white or red?” Can you not like both? What level of spice is just right for your curry dish based on the varietal you choose? Can you still enjoy a glass of red and eat fish? Breathe.
Food and wine pairing is an art form, and there are no hard rights or wrongs as everyone’s palate is unique to them. Thankfully there is guidance offered and tips to follow to ensure every glass can be sipped, savored and enjoyed to its fullest potential.
To keep it simple, pairing can be done in a few ways. First, consider similar pairings where the food and wine share similar compounds ~ think blackened steak with a bold red like a Shiraz. Buttery popcorn paired with a glass of oaky chardonnay is also a “heck yes!” flavor pairing. Another way to approach pairing is thinking in terms of “opposites attract”. For example, sweet and sour pork offers contrasting flavors that work well together. Something sweet and salty is another example.
When you pair things with their opposite, this often creates balance. Consider triple cheese fondue with a glass of Prosecco to help cut through all the fat with its acidity or Stilton blue cheese paired with a glass of Vintage Port. Wine connoisseurs love to say, “If it grows together, it goes together,” so another recommendation is when drinking Italian wines such as Chianti Classico or Nebbiolo, pair them with a rich pasta dish with freshly grated parmesan and a tomato-based sauce. Remember these suggestions the next time you’re in the thick of the wine aisle.
Here are some additional tips to consider when selecting your vino for the evening:
- Try to match the intensity of flavor in both your food and wine so one doesn’t overpower the other.
- The wine you choose should be sweeter than the food it’s being paired with.
- Wines with some sweetness can help balance out spicy foods.
- Tannin doesn’t mix well with fish oils so try a light bodied red such as a Beaujolais with seafood.
- Bitter wines and bitter foods don’t pair well, so dry red wine and radicchio salad would be a no-no!
We’ve put together this list of 10 fabulous wine and food pairings that include a suggested recipe alongside a great bottle of wine from our online selection. Use your 10% off membership benefit to enjoy these, and all other wines on the cwspirits.com site while you’re logged in as a member – automatically applied for you at checkout.
Spicy Thai green curry with a glass of Riesling
Sushi or Baja fish tacos with a Pinot Grigio
Goat cheese and grilled asparagus quiche with a Sauvignon Blanc
Fettuccini Alfredo with buttered prawns paired with a Chardonnay
Oven baked salmon with an almond and parsley salad paired with a cold glass of Rosé
Barbeque duck breast with blueberry sauce paired with a Pinot Noir
Turkey dinner and a side of roast veggies paired with a Merlot
Beef Burger with grilled portobello mushrooms paired with Tempranillo
New York style strip loin steak with a black peppercorn sauce paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon Entrepreneur Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (750 Ml)
Baby back barbeque ribs paired with a Zinfandel
It is exciting to see the world opening up again and we know the Soleil Vino Wine Club will offer ways to help you create new memories and make the world of wine more approachable.
We’re so glad you’ve joined us