Pairing food and wine can seem too complicated and off-limits for rookies, but there are some basic rules to follow. Keep them in mind and you’ll look like an expert!
by Federico Brandi, Project manager at Wine n’ About.
Champagne is Perfect with Salty Food
Most dry sparkling wines have a touch of sweetness which gives you that extra “mmm” when paired with crunchy, salty finger food. Good examples are French Champagne Brut, Spanish cava, or franciacorta from Italy.
Moscato d’Asti Loves Fruit and Hazelnut Desserts or Panettone!
You don’t need to add more sugar when you drink slightly sweet wines such as the fizzy Moscato d’Asti, sparkling demi-sec Champagne, and Asti spumante because they help to emphasize the fruit in the dessert, rather than the sugar. Match it with a hazelnut cake to surprise your friends, or with panettone during the Christmas season.
Rosé Champagne Is Good Not Only with Hors D’oeuvres, It’s a Great Match for Dinner Too
Rosé sparkling wines, such as rosé Champagne, cava, franciacorta, and sparkling wine from California, have the depth and richness to go with a wide range of main courses. A perfect example is the Rosé 2012 Château Miraval, from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s estate.
Sauvignon Blanc Goes with Dressings and Sauces
Zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Portuguese Vinho Verde, and the Spanish Verdejo are a perfect match for tangy dishes.
Fresh Herbs? Grüner Veltliner!
A dish full of fresh herbs goes well with the citrus and clover aromas of an Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Other grapes with similar style are Albariño from Spain and Vermentino from Italy.
Pinot Grigio Pairs Well with Light Fish Dishes
When matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy, light seafood dishes are enhanced.
Better Chardonnay for Fatty Fish or Fish Dressed with a Rich Sauce
Fishes like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush sauce are not a good match with light whites. Better pair them with silky ones such as Chardonnays from California, Chile, or Australia. The result is delicious!
Off-Dry Riesling Pairs with Sweet and Spicy Dishes
Many Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines have an hint of sweetness that helps to tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes.
Dry Rosé for Cheesy Dishes
Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red. But almost all of them pair perfectly with a dry rosé, which has the acidity of a white wine and the fruit aroma of a red.
Pinot Noir Is Great with Earthy Flavors
Ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with a Pinot Noir or a Barbera, which are light-bodied but full of depth.
Old World Wines and Old World Dishes Were Born to Be Together
It can sound obvious, but the flavors of foods and wines that have developed together over the ages are always a natural fit. A perfect example is Tuscan cuisine and the world-famous Super Tuscan wines.
Malbec Won’t Give Up Its Character to Sweet-Spicy Barbecue Sauces
Malbec, Shiraz, and Côtes du Rhône are big and bold enough to drink with foods brushed with spicy barbecue sauces.
Cabernet Sauvignon Is for Juicy Red Meat
Cabernet, Bordeaux, and Bordeaux blends are perfect with steaks or chops: the firm tannins refresh and clean the palate after each bite of meat.
Syrah Matches with Pepper Sauce
When the meat is heavily seasoned, look for a red wine with notes of spices, such as a Syrah from Washington, a Cabernet Franc from France, or a Xinomavro from Greece.
Choose a Sweet Wine with Your Dessert
Desserts are served with dessert wines in Italy, not with coffee or tea. The espresso comes after!
Wine n’ About (www.wineandabout.com) was born with the mission of creating a new wine culture in Thailand by educating and engaging people, and creating a new type of purchase experience. They do this through catchy graphics and content—such as their website, newsletters, social media, and offline events—and by simplifying technical topics to make them understandable to common readers.