I grew up in Wisconsin.
One drinks beer in Wisconsin. Or at least one did at that time.
Then I went off to college (university). I was still in Wisconsin and everyone was still drinking beer, but as we were becoming adults we were also expanding our alcoholic repertoire.
I remember an older, and therefore wiser, friend gave me this stellar advice when she overheard my friends and I discussing the merits of various Gallo wines (Boone’s Farm?)….. She said: ‘It’s easy – always drink German whites and Portuguese reds’ conveniently dismissing three rather prominent wine producing countries between those two…. not to mention the rest of the world.
She didn’t mention the importance of wine with food.
One of the things I like most about living on this side of the pond is continuing to learn about wine and food and experimenting with how they work together. The French in particular take the subject very seriously.
And it’s much more fun than studying political science….. Read on for more info.
Great Wine Pairings You Should Try With Food This Year
When serving wine with a meal at an event or a restaurant, it’s crucial to know the best foods that pair with the type of wine that’s available. With the correct wine pairing, you can improve certain dishes. You can double down the flavor profile or take the opposite approach when you have wine that matches your dish.
For instance, a highly acidic meal can be paired with wine such as Sauvignon Blanc. On the other hand, a glass of slightly sweet wine can be paired with a spicy or bitter dish to construct a complex and layered pairing.
While successful food and wine matching takes a lot of experience, you can learn the most popular ones that you can follow on your own.
Oyster and Wine Pairings
Oysters and wine can be splendid partners. It’s like a happy marriage, bringing out the best flavor in each other to reach their full potential. You can get away without seasoning cooked oysters by pairing it with the right wine. You can also add lemon to make champagnes and chardonnays richer.
Here are some tips when pairing wines with oysters:
- Chardonnay are perfect for cooked oysters served in chowder or creamy sauce.
- Raw oysters have a smooth velvety texture that can be best paired with ultra-dry champagnes to create a balanced texture, such as Drappier Brut Nature and Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut.
- Oysters also taste better with Sauvignon Blanc, like what people in Bordeaux, an oyster-producing area that serves oysters with Asian flavors do. Sauvignon helps counteract the strong seasonings such as red wine vinegar (Tabasco) and shallot.
- If you’re serving Muscadet, you don’t have to add lemon anymore because it already acts like a lemon squeeze.
- For deep-fried oysters, the best match is sparkling wine.
You can match wines with different variations of oysters, as this food and wine blog suggests.
Red Meat and Champagnes
Red meat like roast beef, burgers, and steaks, are best paired with sparkling wines or champagnes. Top chefs have debunked the common notion that roast beef is best with red wine and instead, have suggested champagne. The succulent and juicy texture of roast beef works well when paired with champagne’s complex yet delicate layers of fine bubbles. Go with vintage champagnes, which took a long time to develop for a fuller body and intense flavors.
Champagnes stand up to the rich flavor of steak, which is what people are used to with red wines. So why not try this food and wine pairing this year?
Desserts and Wine Pairings
You can pair alcohol with desserts. However, many have suggested dessert and wine pairings that don’t work. That’s why you have to know the best complimentary wine to your all-time favorite desserts.
Here are some suggestions:
- Chocolate Chip Cookies: Your all-time favorite classic chocolate chip cookies work best with a fruity red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Brownies: Dark red wines, like Merlot, can be paired with brownies in deep chocolate.
- Vanilla Cake: The classic Chardonnay matches the light and simple qualities of vanilla cake.
- Chocolate Cake: For chocolate cake lovers, the deep notes can be paired well with Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Cheesecake: Riesling has a fruity and light texture that perfectly matches the deeper notes and creaminess of the cheesecake.
Wine and Finger Foods
Are you planning to hold a barbecue or pool party? A celebration isn’t complete with a variety of finger food and wine. Don’t let your guests miss out on the fun and excitement that a great appetizer pairing can bring at your next party.
Check out these delicious foods you can throw on your next wine party:
- Shrimp-filled Cheesy Dip: This goes well with lighter, white wines.
- Figs and Nuts: Baked brie with nuts and figs pair well with a glass of wine.
- Popcorn: This salty and easy-to-pop snack is best served with sesame glazed pistachios, along with your flavorful grape wine in your other hand.
- Cheese Plate: Roasted fruits and cheese (Parmesan, Blue Cheese, and Prosecco) shouldn’t be missed in parties, which are best paired with wines, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
When it comes to wine and food pairings, there’s no absolute rule for it. You just have to take note that you can either enhance the existing flavor of the dish or drinking wine with taste that’s the complete opposite.
Food and wine pairings aim to balance or bring out the other’s best flavor. Whether you’re pairing wine with red meat, desserts, seafood, or any meal, you have to be abreast of the latest trends for the best wine and food pairing experience.
In my humble opinion, champagne goes with everything….