Many people around the world love a glass of wine with dinner. People who don’t enjoy wine are simply not aware of the difference the right variety can make in a meal. Wine and food pairing is something that many diners are not given much thought.
Experience teaches us the proper way to do many things in life. Choosing the right wine before heading to the wine cellar or ordering something random with dinner is one of those things. The right choice will likely be different with each meal.
The Process of Pairing
“Pairing” refers to the method of choosing the perfect blend of flavors that will truly enhance the flavor of your meal. Most consider pairing the exclusive forte of a sommelier; hands-down the pairing expert. No great restaurant can exist without an experienced sommelier or a sommelier who can pass a sommelier course.
The process of pairing is often fraught with mistakes made from inexperience. Even more daunting is the fact that meals often have more than one course. What goes well with appetizers may not be suitable for the main course, and vice versa.
A Few Basic Pairing Tips Everyone Should Know
Most types of fish go best with a white. Varieties of whites contain less tannin; therefore the taste doesn’t clash with fish to produce a metallic taste. The same is true with most types of chicken and other white meats.
Varieties of reds on the other hand go best with red meats or heavier meals. Sparkling wines tend to go well with appetizers. Salads may be more easily enjoyed with a very light white or sparkling variety.
Understanding More than the Label
A vast number of grape varieties are used in vinification. Many people mistakenly believe that the label on the bottle will provide enough information for successful wine and food pairing. A sommelier, however, knows that it takes much more than labeling when deciding on which type to serve.
Few would deny that wine selection is something that is not easily mastered. Thankfully, there are a few websites that make pairing easier for those who wish to learn the art. Aside from an impressive listing of many varieties, most websites offer helpful critiques on each.