Wine Basics for Everyday People: Part 3Wine & Food Pairings for Wine Novices
So you finally figured out how to pick out a bottle of wine; now you have to think about how the wine you choose pairs with the food on the table! If you feel like you’d rather sign up for a triathlon than match a bottle of wine to a particular menu, we’ve got a few go-to tips to take the guesswork out of the situation.
FOOD AND WINE PAIRING NEED-TO-KNOWS
If you’ve kept up with our blog series about wine for everyday people, hopefully you know that nothing about wine is as difficult as it might seem. You should also know that most wine pairing rules can be broken, so don’t sweat it!
1. Acidic Food Needs Acidic Wine
Who says opposites attract? High acid levels are found in tomatoes and tomato sauces, as well as anything flavored with citrus (including lemon-drizzled fish). To bring out the best qualities of these foods, complement them with an acidic wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne.
2. Steak & Cab: A Classic Duo
Something something something about tannins. All you need to know is that meaty, fatty foods (think steak, prime ribs and super buttery foods) go nice with bold and slightly bitter wines, like Cabernets.
3. Sweet Dessert Calls for Sweeter Wine
The sweeter and richer your dessert is, the sweeter and richer you’ll want your wine to be. It seems counterintuitive, but sweet Rieslings and ports are best for complementing the flavor nuances of sugary desserts, without making you feel like you’re overdoing it.
4. Cut Spicy Foods with Sweet Wines
Alcohol makes hot and spicy dishes even hotter and spicier, but sweetness helps cut the burn. To keep your guests from clutching their throats, balance out a spicy dish with a sweet, low-alcohol wine like a Riseling or Moscato.
5. You Can Pair Wine with Anything
As in, you don’t have to pair your wine with the meat or the main dish. Use these tips to match your wine selection to the most flavorful dish on the table. (Ever notice how no one talks about wine and chicken pairings? That’s because chicken usually isn’t the boldest flavor on the table.)
And there you have it. Five simple tips that will make every meal just a little bit better. Bon appetit!