A bottle of wine can be the highlight of a special occasion, but there are a lot of other elements which will complete the experience and make the time truly memorable. Aside from some good company, drinking wine is lovely when paired with the right, sumptuous food. There may be a lot of rules as well as do’s and don’ts when it comes to wine and food. We’ve simplified the basics to help you pick the right wine and perfect menu for that special occasion. For each category, we set out some wine examples, the best kind of food which it is generally paired with, and an ideal menu for a commonly chosen wine.
Light Dry White
Examples of these are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Albarino and Gruner V.
These are best paired with green or roasted veggies, such as salads, as well as your carbs, from bread to pasta. It also goes well with fish and anything light.
A Sauvignon Blanc works well with salad, seafood and poultry because of its lightness and herbal characteristics, so you can pair it with tangy foods.
Examples of these are Reisling, Chenin Blanc, and Moscato.
These are best paired with soft cheeses, carbs, cured and smoked meats, and desserts.
A light and aromatic Reisling is perfect for dry dishes from fish and chicken to pork.
Examples of these are Chardonnay, Oaked Whites and Viognier.
These are best paired with roasted vegetables, carbs, rich fish and seafood dishes, and white meat such as poultry.
The popular Chardonnay is the right pair for fish and chicken dishes in a lush sauce.
Examples of these are Champagne, Franciacorta, Prodecco and Cava.
These are best paired with green vegetables, soft or hard cheeses, carbs and fish.
Sweet champagne is perfect for anything salty.
Examples of these are Pinot Noir, Grenach, Pinotage and Gamay.
These are best paired with roasted vegetables, carbs, seafood, and white meat.
A premium Pinot Noir wine is an ideal pair for grilled salmon, lamb, chicken or Japanese dishes and all the food with some earthy flavours.
Examples of these are Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo.
These are best paired with hard cheese, carbs, white meat, red meat, and cured or smoked meat.
Merlot is a soft red wine which can easily go well with anything.
Examples of these are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Syrah, Zinfandel, Mourverde, and Aglianico.
These are best paired with hard cheese, red meat, and cured or smoked meat.
A Shiraz is your perfect pair for juicy meat, from steaks, beef, wild game, stews and more.
Examples of these are Port and Tawny Port, Sherry, Late Harvest and Tokaji
These are best paired with soft cheese, carbs, cured and smoked meat, and desserts.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the various types of wine, or over think what kind of food your chosen dish falls under. As a general rule, you can simply follow these:
- Dark wine is for heavier foods while light wine is for lighter foods.
- Choose a wine that is sweeter than your food so that it does not taste bitter and tart.
- Wine should also be more tart than the food and be of a higher acidity so that it would not taste ‘fatty’.
- Earthy wine is for earthy food, acidic wine is also for acidic food but do not pair bitter food with bitter wine.
- Salty food and sweet wine is also a perfect pair.
- For fatty foods, you can go with bitter wine, acidic wine, or one with an alcohol taste.
You do not need to be a wine expert in order to pull off the perfect food and wine pairing. All it takes is some good taste and a nice bottle of wine to make that special meal perfect. Contact Wine Design for more ideas on giving wines as gifts to your loved ones.