Choosing a wine for your favorite food can be challenging. When eating out we can always ask the server for their wine recommendation to pair with our dinner selection. When at home we are left to our own defenses.
Here are a few hints and tips:
- A good food and wine pairing starts with bringing out the flavors in both elements. The wine should not be so strong as to overpower the food, nor should the food overpower the wine.
To achieve this balance we should look for complementary or contrasting flavors. Choose a wine with the same flavors/notes.
- Eating and drinking local can be an easier way to choose a wine for your dish. If a dish is traditionally from Italy, France, Spain, etc. then choose a wine from that same region.
- Match the weight of both the food and wine. With heavy rich foods choose a bold, rich wine. For example, a rich bold steak is best paired with a rich bold Cabernet Sauvignon.
- With lighter foods such as salads or broiled fish dressed with lemon choose light white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or other highly acidic wines such as dry Rose.
- Contrasting flavors (opposites attract): Rather than a choosing a richer oaked Chardonnay for the seafood with the rich butter & lemon sauce choose a wine high in acidity. The acidity cuts through the fat of the butter which refreshes the palate.
With spicy dishes choose a low alcohol wine (10% or less) which will be ‘off dry’ or a little sweet. The touch of sweetness cuts through the spicy flavors and again will leave your palate refreshed.
And Then There’s Dessert. Be sure to come back.
This is basically just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pairing food and wine. Don’t fret though, if you already know what wine you like to drink then you know you will enjoy your meal.
Please share your thoughts, pairing tips and any questions. We love hearing from you.