New to wine and not sure what goes with what? This is a basic guide for beginners. Get these down and you'll be coloring outside the lines in no time.
Pair reds with red meat and heavier dishes. Think dark goes with heavy, red with red.
Pair bitter or tannic wines (reds have more tannins than whites) with higher fat dishes. Think a good cabernet sauvignon with a juicy blue cheese burger.
Pair whites with lighter meats and fish and lighter dishes like salads and light pastas. The intent is to pair the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the food. (This depends on the sauce - see number 8)
The more acidic the wine, the more acidic the food. Think eating an orange at breakfast followed by milk - not the best combination. Same goes for wine. The acid needs the acid to taste good.
Sweet goes with sweet (dry wines are the opposite of sweet). If you're eating dessert or a sweet sauce, the wine should be sweeter than the dish.
Match the sauce, not the meat or other ingredients. If you've got a very heavy cream sauce with mushrooms and cheese, go with a red or a very buttery chardonnay, not a super light crisp pinot gris.
- We have nearly a dozen names for the tastes we find in food, but for the purposes of pairing it with wine, there are only six you need to think about: Salt, Acid, Sweet, Bitter, Fat and Spice. Narrow down your food to the most prominent one of these flavors and pair your wine based on that.
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