Pairing Wines and Food: Some Handy Tips to Get You Started On a Gastronomical Adventure

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Whether it is the festive season or a special occasion whereyou’re preparing a meal for friends and family, including wine as a compliment to the dishes you’re hoping to serve is a great idea. However, with that said you might feel overwhelmed or lost as to where to begin and how to pair your choice of wines with the type of food you’re hoping to serve.

The wine you hope to serve has the ability to enhance the dishes and its flavour creating a delightful experience for your guests of a perfectly blended meal of food and beverage. But which wine do you choose you ask? Fear not, as we’ve broken down the basics behind the science of pairing food with the perfect type of wine.

How to pair food and wine (and cheese) #infographic.

Pair Great Dishes with Great Wine and Simple Dishes with Humble Wine

The above theory is easier said than done, but it is actually true of any kind of food and wine pairing. For instance, a simple chicken sandwich does not require an expensive brand of wine, of course you want to serve your guests the best but sometimes simplicity is the key.  For instance the range of Lethbridge wines on offer such as the Merlots is perfect to accompany a simple white meat dish. On the other hand, your pork rib roast deserves nothing but the best of the winery’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon for savouring. It is the perfect gastronomical pairing one could offer guests.

Serve The Delicate Dishes with a Light Wine and Spicy Flavours for Bold Wine

As indicated in our first tip of matching similar dishes to similar wines – maintaining delicate dishes with light soothing wines and spicy dishes with more bold bodied wines is another option to remember when pairing wine with food. A spicy curry dish would be lost on a deep red Burgundy wine, and your guests will end up tasting neither the wine nor the flavours of your curry. Spicy and piquant flavoured dishes are best paired with wines that come with a medium bodied Shiraz.

Mirror A Dish Or Add A Contrast?

While planning your food menu consider if you want your choice of wine to mirror the same flavour as your dish. Or would it be better if the wine brought out a contrasting taste and thereby complemented the meal as a whole?The options are many and both could work out well. A lobster dish that´s thick and creamy could be paired with a Chardonnay. But it could also be absolutely stunning with a tinge of some bubbly Champagne.

Salty and Acid

If you are cooking up a store of some salty flavours then the best beverage in terms of a contrast would be the acidity encountered in a glass of wine. For instance, a salty cheese as a snack like the Parmigiano is the best with the light acidity of a red wine. Dishes such as those of Asian cuisines which incorporate a lot of soy sauce would be best served with a bit of tartness in a medium bodied red wine.

Salty Dishes with Sweet Flavours

Saltiness could be the perfect contrast at times to a sweet flavour. This is actually the theory between the famous pairing of European salty cheese with a beautifully sweet Port wine. You can’t go wrong if you stick to the basics and don´t forget to have fun while you explore the gastronomical options of food pairing.

Pairing wine and food can be an interesting exercise and will whet your appetite no doubt to delve deeper in the study of wines. It’s a fascinating study so here’s to many more gastronomical adventures.