Tips for Pairing Wine at Home
"I have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, but I'm not sure what to eat with it. What do you suggest?"
"I am craving seafood, can I drink my Reserve Cabernet with shrimp?"
One of the ways we learn about proper pairings is through eating at restaurants and asking for the expertise of the sommelier. Or, when we visit wineries, we lean on the knowledge of our tasting room ambassadors to offer us guidance for the wines we select and imagining what waits at home for us to prepare for dinner that evening. With restaurants and tasting rooms closed, many of us are ordering takeout from our local eating establishments or diving into the kitchen to make gourmet-style meals at home. If you are still second-guessing which wines in the rack will pair with what you are eating, we have some tips that will help you perfect your wine-pairing skills as you continue to shelter in place.
Tips to Perfect your Wine Pairings at Home
Think Regionally - "What grows together, grows together." Simply put, when thinking about the wine on your table, look to the foods that are native to that region. Sangiovese is a red grape variety that hails from the Tuscany region of Italy. Common foods from that region include tomato-based pasta and soup dishes, salamis, grilled beef, and parmesan risotto.
Compare - Pair your wines with your food based on their similarities in texture and taste. For example, the acid and lightweight of a goat cheese marries well with a crisp and light Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé. When baking a chocolate cake, match the sweetness of the cake with a dessert wine like our Solera.
Contrast - Contrasting pairings can be a little tricky but can also be very exciting. Again, the idea is to achieve a combination of food and wine that highlights the flavors of both. An example of a contrasting pairing you are probably familiar with is a nice ribeye paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon. What makes this such a great pairing is the way the tannins in the red wine help cut through the fattiness of the steak. Spicy dishes benefit from a touch of sweetness to soften the heat.
Have Fun - Wine should be fun! Think of food and wine pairings as a grand experiment and an adventure for the palate. The more you practice, the better you will become. Ultimately, the best wine to enjoy with your meal, is the wine you enjoy drinking.
We hope these tips help you to enjoy food and wine even more! Cheers!
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