White wine pairing with fish, or was it chicken? Red wine normally goes best with steak, or is it pork? What should I serve with ribs? How does lamb even fall into this category? Sometimes pairing food and wine can be a complicated job.
Have you ever been left with the task of creating an important dinner party, and had no idea what wine to serve with the food? Have you ever felt lost while standing at your local wine dealer knowing that this dinner has to be perfect, but not having the background to select the perfect wine? Don’t fret, as you join the ranks of those who have come before you, take a deep breath and read on to help you understand complimentary food and wine pairings.
To begin and understand food and wine pairings, look no further than your own senses. Naturally, your tongue picks up the overall tastes: it tells you what is sweet, salty, bitter or acidic. Although, it is your nose that will help you to determine whether you like the wine or not. Some wines are more fruity and others seem to taste more “earthy”, and all of them can have you react differently dependent solely upon your sense of taste and smell. The reason this is important, is due to the fact that there can be a stark and unpleasant contrast when combining uncomplimentary flavors and smells.
Pairing Food And Wine:
A general rule of thumb in food and wine pairings is that red goes with red. What this usually means is that steak, ribs and even pork are best complimented by a red or heavier wine like cabernet, port or a pinot noir. Even though the pinot noir is a little lighter in color, it is a heavier wine and can compliment a dish like steak or pork quite well. While many people would serve beer with ribs, you can dress up that table by serving a similarly heavier wine or with a chilled white zinfandel.
When, however, you are serving lighter type meats, a lighter wine is normally the best compliment for your guests’ palates. So, when the plan for the evening is oysters, poultry, or cream sauces on pasta, then reach for the lighter wines: try serving a chardonnay with oysters, chenin blanc with poultry and those lighter pastas with sauvignon blanc. There are other possible combinations you can try, but these offer a good place to start.
Picking that perfect food and wine pairing for that dinner party should not be a difficult task. Just remember that it is going to be a palate thing dependent upon your sense of smell and taste for success. When you become more confident with your choices, feel free to experiment, because there are no food and wine pairing police to criticize you. Until then, you may confidently use the tried and true combinations given here to relax and enjoy preparing that party.