If you’re a novice wine drinker or are in the midst of planning your very first wine-tasting party, you might be struggling to figure out what wine and food combinations will pair harmoniously. The key is to determine the distinct flavours of the wines you’re showcasing and keep those at the forefront of each pairing so as not to overwhelm the senses but keep them aptly stimulated. Once you gain a full grasp of the complex flavours and idiosyncrasies every wine embodies, finding the appropriate food pairings will be easy. This is a skill that’s acquired through a great deal of experience, so it’s prudent to do a little research beforehand.
Foods that Pair Well with Various Wines
Light Appetizers with Wine
Wine and appetizer pairings don’t have to be over-the-top or overly complicated recipes that are difficult to compose. In fact, they can be as simple as serving sliders with a refreshing glass of bubbly, or they can be as complex as you want them to be. It all depends on the nature of the party you’re hosting and the types of guests you intend to invite. Just take into account that certain wines flourish best when paired with specific flavour palates. If you’re not sure of a specific pairing, make sure to sample it before serving it to your guests or ask an expert at your local wine shop for recommendations.
White Wine Pairing
White wine typically pairs well with simple, understated varieties of food because of the strong acidic tannins it naturally contains. The acidity in the wine helps to accentuate the subtle hints of flavour that exist in the foods with which it is usually paired. Dry white wines pair seamlessly with naturally sweet foods that are lightly seasoned because the acidity in the wine undercuts the sweetness. In contrast, sweet white wines often pair well with spicy foods like those incorporated in Indian or Asian cuisine. When it comes to white wine and appetizer pairings, the adage “opposites attract” is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.
Red Wine Pairing
Red wines are usually paired well with heavier foods and are generally served with the entrée portion of any meal. This can include beef, chicken, pasta, and sometimes even fish. Most red wines have a very decadent and overpowering aroma, so to serve them with light appetizers such as brie or cream cheese on crackers would render the flavours from the food almost obsolete. A dark, bold pinot noir demands equally strong and complex flavours to accompany it, so make sure to do it justice.
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