Have you noticed how different wines can bring out different tastes of food? Cheesy macaroni won’t taste as good when eaten with white wine as with red wine. While some wines can be spoiled by the introduction of certain food flavours, they can also taste delicious if paired with the right food. That’s why you’ll need to know which wine goes best with which food to avoid feeling disappointed in the taste of the wine just because you drank it with the wrong food. There’s a delicate balance between tastes, so check out this little guide and learn how to achieve that balance.
Learn to Taste Food and Wine Together
Knowing how to taste the food and wine together is essential if you want to branch out beyond the generalities. When tasting wine for the first time, take a mouthful of wine and roll it around your mouth, then swallow. Think well about the taste and smell you’re sensing. Look for familiar fruit, berry, and wood flavours. The wine may also feel light or heavy and it can be sweet or have more of an acid-like flavour.
Take all of the previous factors into consideration and try to match it to similar characteristics in food. Find at least one aspect that corresponds with the food, such as the sweetness, the flavour, the texture. After you’re done with the wine, it’s time to try the food. Have a small piece, chew it and swallow it. If you like how everything tastes, you’ve got a winner.
White Wine Pairings
White wines will be a perfect match to lighter fare, like chicken or fish, as well as a full spectrum of fresh, green vegetables. Most white wines have bright, fruity flavours with hints of citrus and a full spectrum of sweetness, from tart Sauvignon Blanc to the dessert-like Riesling or buttery Chardonnays. Champagne is one of the favourite party drinks, and when teamed up with salty food, it makes a true delight for your palate. Consider matching exquisite champagne with something with a salty umami quality. Mac and cheese, barbecue chicken and chili will be a good match to champagne, just as strawberries and various berries, oysters and clams.
Lighter meats like chicken or turkey and whitefish will taste wonderful when paired with the sparkly champagne. Moscato and Riesling have a dominant sweet taste and will work great in combination with spicier food because of a fabulous balance of pungent flavours and high heat. Are you in the mood for some citrus-glazed shrimp or scallops? A dry Sauvignon Blanc with notes of herbs, grass and vibrant fruits will go great with seafood.
Red Wine Pairings
Robust meats go wonderfully with bold and powerful reds. Fruity-tasting notes of Pinot Noir will be a great company to medium-sharp cheddars, Roquefort or Epoisse. If you opt for fatty fish, duck, roasted chicken or even a hearty beef stew, be sure to drink some Pinot Noir with it.
Ripe, dark fruits and heavy tannin content make Cabernet Sauvignon an excellent match to a big, juicy steak. This red wine will bring out the flavour in classic meatballs, braised short ribs or a roasted leg of lamb as well. If you like sweet berry-flavoured Merlot, grilled chicken, zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms are the perfect food choices to make this wine taste amazing. Heavy-tasting notes of Malbec work well with Beef Bourguignon, venison, lamb curry or duck.
Learning which food goes best with which wines will allow you to have an exquisite meal every time. That’s why you should know which wine goes best with cheeses and how to avoid spoiling your Beef Bourguignon with the wrong wine. Fortunately, with this little guide, you’ll be all set for another dose of delicious meals.