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Wine Pairing Basics

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Oh to have such troubles as choosing the right libation with the right vittles, this surely is a trifle of the modern world.

That’s enough of waxing poetic, the truth of the matter is that wine is great and food is great, but the manner in which you’re supposed to put the two together can be a downright mysterious.

Well, you’re in luck, because we’re going to unravel that mystery and by the end of the article you will wax poetic about the harmony of the perfect grape accent on a cheese vestibule (or something close to that).

Meat Eaters

When you’re eating meat you need something hefty and powerful to balance out the flavors. A Beaujolais is one of those few wines that will fit the bill across a variety of meat dishes.

Going into particulars you’re going to want wines that are low in tannins like Beaujolais or Dolcetto.

On the flip side if you’re eating steak you can take in some tannin and enjoy the boldness. You’re going to find that boldness in a beautiful Bordeaux or Barolo, which after a sip and then a bite will get you humming M’ama Mia.

Chicken

A simple chicken dish deserves a simple wine that together provides harmony and a settled in feeling. A feathery Chardonnay will give you an almost perfect pairing with chicken every time. The only times you may want to stray is when you get into heavier chicken dishes with creams and fats, in this case you can go with a Merlot or Beaujolais.

Seafood

Delicate things like other delicate things in life and on the palate. So if you’re enjoying light dishes like a seafood dish you want to pair that with a light wine like a Chablis or an effervescent Pinot Grigio.

Sour Foods

If you’re noshing on something that makes your toes curl in sour ecstasy then take a sip of Sauvignon Blanc to further the good-oh-so-good.

Spicy Foods

If you’re whipping up some spicy Indian or Thai then you’re going to want to balance out all of those sharp (but delicious) flavors with something sweet. A great choice is a Riesling, which has a kiss of sweet with a whole lot of body.

Good ‘ol BBQ

Mesquite, sweet or honey garlic good, whatever you’ve got on the BBQ a Shiraz can handle for sure. Wines that have that special kickback spice note like Shiraz and Malbec are big and bold enough to handle the strong flavors a sweet smoky BBQ can bring. In fact the added spice those wines bring to the table can take your BBQ from ordinary to extraordinary.

Getting Cheesy

We all know about the love affair between wine and cheese, and we also know that some of the couplings are better than others. However, if you choose yourself a dry rose wine – you can’t go wrong. A dry fruit rose wine has just the right dimensions to have flings with all sorts of cheese types and keep them all happy all of the time.

Salty Foods

Bubbles and bubbles can make champagne fun enough to drink on its own, but when you pair this sweet treat with something salty … well Hello!

Sparkling wines always have sweet undertones which is why pairing them with a cut of cheese is just about the best way to accent their flavor and enjoy the bounty on your tongue.

Sweet Foods

And to end off your meal you are going to want a sweet celebration of all that was had and all that is going to ensue. Desserts are paired best with complex wines that provide just the right balance of sweet to accent your post meal dish.

Muscats are particularly lovely with dessert as are Madeiras and this may be a surprise but a Riesling doesn’t fare too badly either.

Food and Wine Basics

Although you may not be registering in a Sommelier school near you anytime soon, the information you’re now armed with will give you a head up on anyone else anywhere you go.

Although there are numerous other wines to explore, these basics we’ve provided in this introduction to wine basics will give you a perfect foothold in this little world of the perfect sip’n bite.

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