The candles are lit and the table is set. You’ve done everything to set the mood for the perfect dinner party. But, did you know that serving the perfect wine is just as important as the preparing the meal you prepare? It’s true. Wine can make a good meal great - if you pick the right one.
The first step to correctly pair wine with food is to analyze your meal. Determine what the dominant spices and sauces are of the primary dish. Then, analyze it using these four factors.
Body/weight: Are the elements of the food heavy or light?
Flavor intensity: Is the flavor weak or strong?
Aroma: What kind of smells does the food give - fruity, earthy?
Taste: Does it taste sweet, spicy or bitter?
Once you know the body, intensity, aroma and taste, you can use them as a guide to choose the right wine. As a rule-of-thumb, food and wine should either complement or contrast each other. The wine should not overpower the food and the food should not overpower the wine.
There are thousands and thousands of wines out there and it can all get a little confusing. Below is a list of some popular food and wine pairings. These are just a few examples you can use or help point you in the right direction.
Beef and lamb - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Bordeaux
Mild cheese - Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Sparkling wine
Hard cheese - Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti or Merlot
Chicken - Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay
Desserts, fruit and salty cheese - Sauternes, Sauvignon and Riesling
Pizza - Piedmont, Spanish reds or Chateauneuf du Pape
Pork - Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir or Riesling
Seafood - Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir
Turkey - Zinfandel, Beaujolais Nouveau, Rose, Pinot Grigio or Albarino
Remember, it all comes down to personal taste. So, if you find a wine that you like, stick with it! And, don’t be afraid to try something new. Friends and family are great wine references. It may lead you to your new favorite wine. You can also research wines online or join a wine club to have a variety of wines delivered regularly right to you door.
Be sure to keep track the wines you like, and the wines you’d like to try. Sites like rememberstuff.me can help you keep all your articles, references, links, and notes in one, convenient location.