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7 Rules to remember when pairing food and wine
Thursday, 17 January 2019 08:42

Whether you are having a barbecue or a dinner party, you want to make sure the wine you serve is paired perfectly with the food you serve your guests. A wrong pairing can ruin the entire dining experience and I certainly don’t want that. So here are the rules to remember when picking which wines will go best with your food.

Pairing Rule #1

Serve a dry rosé with hors d'oeuvres Good rosé combines the fresh acidity and light body of white wines with the fruity character of reds. This makes it the go-to wine when serving a wide range of hors d'oeuvres.

Pairing Rule #2

Serve an unoaked white with anything you can squeeze a lemon or lime on White wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño and Vermentino (typically made in stainless steel tanks rather than oak barrels) have a bright, citrusy acidity that acts like a zap of lemon or lime juice to heighten flavors in everything from smoked tilapia to grilled salmon.

Pairing Rule #3

Try low-alcohol wines with spicy foods Alcohol accentuates the oils that make spicy food hot. So when confronted with dishes like a fiery curried chicken or Thai stir-fry, look for wines that are low in alcohol, such as off-dry German Rieslings. Keep in mind, a touch of sweetness helps counter spiciness.

Pairing Rule #4

Match rich red meats with tannic reds Tannins, the astringent compounds in red wines that help give the wine structure, are an ideal complement to luxurious meats—making brawny reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah great matches for braised duck legs or pan-seared sausages.

Pairing Rule #5

With lighter meats, pair the wine with the sauce Often the chief protein in a dish—chicken or pork, say—isn't the primary flavor. Think of pork chops in a delicate white wine sauce versus pork chops in a zesty red wine sauce; in each case, the sauce dictates the pairing choice.

Pairing Rule #6

Choose earthy wines with earthy foods Many great pairing combinations happen when wines and foods echo one another. Earthiness is often found in reds such as Pinot Noir (particularly from Burgundy) and Nebbiolo, making them great partners for equally earthy ingredients, like steaks or wild mushrooms.

Pairing Rule #7

For desserts, go with a lighter wine When pairing desserts and dessert wines, it's easy to overwhelm the taste buds with sweetness. Instead, choose a wine that's a touch lighter and less sweet than the dessert. With these in mind, your guests will feel truly wined and dined! Bon Apetit!

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