World of food and wine looks at a fascinating variety of customs and traditions in different countries across the globe, describing how the world cooks, eats, and drinks.
Food and Wine
Food and wine go well together. The right food enhances the flavors in the wine and wine is the perfect complement for food because of its wide range of flavors, discrete levels of alcohol and its stimulating acid touch. It is difficult to plan a serious meal without thinking of the wine.
Which wines go with which foods
The best way to figure out what wines go with what foods is to take the same approach that you take when planning a sit-down dinner. For instance, dinner courses typically include a light appetizer, followed by a fresh salad, then a filling main course and, finally, a rich dessert.
Your wine choice should follow the same progression that dinner courses have - light to dark. The more intense the flavor of the food, the more intense the wine should be to balance out the meal.
Since there is no wine and food pairing set in stone, evaluate each course separately and decide which wine you think would complement each portion of your meal.
Generally, a meal starts with a light and delicate appetizer. Since this first course is usually designed to get the palate perked up, a lighter wine with a crisp, somewhat dry flavor would go extremely well. As an example, consider the light brunch, where champagne is a perfect choice. A white wine, such as a Riesling, will do well as the citrus flavors usually complement most appetizers.
Let's assume that most salads served as a dinner course start with a bed of mixed greens. If that's the case, then it is normally wise to consider the type of dressing on the salad to determine the wine pairing.
Keeping in mind that the wine type should match the food, you would not pair a Sauvignon Blanc with a creamy dressing like a Ranch or a Thousand Island. The Sauvignon Blanc tilts more to the acidic side of the white wines, so a better match would be a Caesar or Greek-style salad; one with a little bite in the dressing. For the creamy salad dressings, err on the side of caution with a White Zinfandel or something similar.
Much like the salad, a creamy dish should have a creamy wine while an acidic dish should take the other end of the spectrum. Take most meat dishes for example, like beef or lamb. Since these meats are more of a fatty and flavorful dish, they pair well with big flavored wines such as the Cabernets and Red Zinfandels. Pasta dishes with creamy sauce are perfect for the Chardonnay-like wines.
If there are any tendencies in wine pairing, it usually involves fish. More often than not, fish is served with a crisp white wine because of the way the dish is prepared. Many fish dishes use some sort of citrus in the cooking process, so it is only natural to have a lighter wine to help accentuate the flavors in the dish.
Dessert is, without a doubt, the decadent portion of the meal. Typically, dessert time is the time to splurge on rich and creamy chocolates, and maybe sweet red strawberries. Since these flavors are so rich and deep, you would naturally want to pair them with rich and deep red wines, such as a Port. Sipping on a strong red wine helps to balance out the richness of the dessert without masking any of the flavors of the dish.
Food and wine pairings
It is worth knowing the general guidelines about wine and food matching, as it is some successful pairings that stand the test of time, though in this matter, as in all matters of individual appreciation, tastes are personal.
Do you think you know everything about wine and food proper pairing? Start by pairing wine and cheese, this one is the most used to entertain friends without much fuss but much enjoyment, especially if you are looking for snacks to serve in a wine tasting.
Though pasta is the most versatile food, you still need to follow a few rules to match pasta and your favorite wines.
Wine has been successfully paired with cheese or fruit, apart from more traditional food and wine matching, why not wine and chocolate?
Which are the foods that grace the Holiday table more often? The answer is likely to be ham, glazed or smoked, and turkey. Choosing a wine for ham or turkey is tricky, not impossible. You will get tips for finding the wine to match.
Food and wine pairing is a matter of taste
Of course, there is no pairing that is forbidden, only recommendations. The generally accepted rule is to drink what you like. If you like white wine, by all means pair your favorite white wine with your favorite steak. If you prefer to sip a dark red wine, go ahead and have it with your salad. You're not breaking any laws.
Wine pairing is not a science, but instead a matter of taste. Enjoy sampling different wines with your friends and discover your own unique wine pairing favorites!