Wines and spirits are a part of the menu that can make or break the special dinner you are hosting. If wines are paired badly, it would affect the overall experience of your guests. Therefore, it is one of the things that you, as a host, should make sure to put on your checklist. Here are the basics of wine pairing.
When finding a suitable wine, know your wine first. Evaluate its taste in terms of sweetness, bitterness, and acidity. Think of how well it will balance a sweet, salty, bitter, or fatty dish.
Wines with high acidity are best served with sweet and fatty foods. Earthy wines can taste fruity when served alongside dishes with more earthy flavors, such as mushroom stroganoff.
Always choose a wine that is sweeter or has a higher acidity than your food. If you are serving wine that is less sweet than your food, it will end up tasting bitter. If you are serving it with food that is tarter in taste, your wine will taste flabby.
Earthy flavors, such as that from truffles, as well as cured meats and poultry dishes are best paired with light red wines, such as Pinot Noir and St. Laurent. Wines that are bitter can help even out the sweetness of the food.
If the food to be served is on the salty side, such as pretzels and salty spreads, consider the acidity of the wine. Sparkling wines, such as Champagne, Prosseco, and Cremant, pair well with strong flavors, such as those from oyster and mussel. Champagne tastes great with anything salty. Meanwhile, rich whites, such as Chardonnay and Viognier, works perfect served with soft cheeses and cream, lobster and shellfish, and poultry dishes.
White wines are better served with lighter foods like vegetables and fish. Opt for red wines if the fish dish has rich flavors. Dry white wines pair well with vegetables (roasted or not) as well as fish dishes. Sweet white wines, on the other hand, work well with soft and hard cheeses, cured meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and sweet dishes.
If you are serving red meats, opt for bold red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux Blend. This variety also works perfect to prep grilled and roasted dishes or when serving hard cheeses like Pecorino and Manchego.
Prefer medium red wines if you are serving pork dishes, dishes with aromatic spices, or pungent cheeses, such as Gorgonzola or Stilton. Use this variety as well when prepping smoked dishes.
Rose wines, such as Pinot Noir Rose and Loire Valley Rose, work perfect when served alongside dishes with root vegetables like carrot, pumpkin, and butternut. Dry rose works well when served with rich-flavored cheesy dishes, such as cheese sandwiches.
Dessert wines taste perfect when served with chocolates, coffee, pungent cheeses, and spices like cinnamon, allspice, and clove.
Always keep in mind to balance the taste of the dish with the wine you will serve it with. Think of whether it will complement or depress its taste. If done right, the wine can do wonders to your dishes, and you will be able to leave a good impression.