Have you ever experienced a flawless wine-food pairing? Each component improves the other. This is why the same wine can taste different at a restaurant than at home for supper.
Besides the emotional experience, wines don’t taste as well without the right meal. While restaurants do this well, what about a home cook making a special meal for friends?
French rosé wines are sure to be a hit with everybody. One reason they’re so good is that they’re mainly made from the Grenache grape, which lends itself to aromas like strawberry and raspberry and has a bright, crisp acidity.
While these wines pair well with many foods, they also stand on their own—though a peanut butter sandwich certainly wouldn’t go down well.
Classic Food Pairings
Tapenade, patés, and terrines are the ideal sauces for appetizers. As an appetizer, try a cold or room-temperature pasta salad or one that contains protein, such as chicken.
You won’t find better wines to mix with shellfish than these. Especially well-suited are white wines. Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, both produced only from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, are ideal with shellfish for their fruitiness and sharp acidity.
Also, two very affordable and shellfish-friendly wines are Vermentino from Italy and Albarino from Spain. Classic seafood dishes go well with white wine, such as oysters, clams, shrimp, and mussels.
Loaded Chardonnay pairs well with lobster, especially with melted butter. Since lobster is heavier than clams, heavier wines pair well with it. Some of the best food wines in the world are French White Burgundy wines made from 100% Chardonnay, which have a lean, high-toned acidity structure. Roast pig, creamed pasta, lobster, and roast chicken are some of the most traditional meal pairings.
Although they are large “winter wines,” that doesn’t mean they won’t pair well with a juicy Porterhouse steak cooked to perfection! These wines may be overpowering with most summertime fare, though.
The alcohol will be too powerful unless they are cold to the touch. Any red wine will do this. About twenty minutes before opening, chill in the fridge.
Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz
These wines have a little sweetness to them, a peppery flavor, and fewer tannins that dry out the palate. For these reasons, these wines pair wonderfully with grilled dishes, especially those that are smoky and spicy.
Traditional grilled pork tenderloin, fajitas, burgers, ribs, flank steak, pizza, and smoked meats go well together.
The traditional idea that white wines go only with seafood is busted by Pinot Noir. For example, this Spirit Wine goes wonderfully with grilled swordfish, bluefin or yellowfin tuna, salmon, and a host of other seafood. Pinot Noir is another great option if you’re looking for a red wine to pair with chicken.
Classic grilled meats include pork tenderloin, swordfish, salmon, or duck; light red sauce over pasta; grilled pork chops; and chicken, duck, or Cornish chickens.
Having tiki torches, energetic music, an ice bucket of summer whites and rosés, plus a wonderful summer menu is a winning combination. Cheers!