Let’s be honest with ourselves, you may never become a wine connoisseur but at the very least you can learn simple food and wine pairing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered my wine all willy nilly and ruined my expertly prepared dish. Not to mention getting the side eye from dinner guests and waiters who knew better. But you can be better than me by taking a tip from this easy wine guide.
Food and Wine Pairing Basics
Who cares what wine pairs well with what, some people ask, but I know you’re not like them because you’re reading this post on food and wine pairing, so here are the basics.
Sweet wines pair well with smokey, salty flavors, while fatty dishes need something a bit more acidic. You’ll remember to order a light colored wine with your light and delicate meal. Finally, bold meats need a wine with intensity. Now let’s talk specific wine types and meats because nothing else on the plate really matters.
If you’re opting for a steak meal, search the menu for a robust red wine like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon or red Bordeaux. You can easily think about these pairings by thinking red meat/red wine.
Now, if you prefer a taste of the South, try these southern dishes like juicy grilled ribeye, tender pulled pork, or hearty beef stew. The bold flavors of these dishes perfectly complement the richness of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, or red Bordeaux, making for an unforgettable dining experience.
Food and wine pairing can be a bit intimidating when it comes to poultry because it all boils down to whether or not the dish contains light meat (the breast) or dark meat (legs and thighs). For the white meat, think white wines like a pinot grigio or chardonnay. If you’re like me and can’t get enough of those thick thighs, then try a medium red, like pinot noir and merlot. Ohhh that smooth merlot!
Bring on the pork! This is the fatty type of meat that I mentioned earlier. For dishes like ham, pork shoulder, or pork chops, dry acidic wines pair best. You can ask the waiter to recommend a proseco, cava, or Riesling that will cut through the fattiness of the pork.
I have two words for you… salmon and trout. Fatty fish require a higher acidity as well like, chardonnay or pinot noir.
Ordering shrimp, crab, or even going Big Willy style with Lobster, and you’ll want to scan the menu for white wines. Remember, we’re keeping things light and delicate with this lighter shellfish. You can even opt for champagne on this one!
For my carbohydrate-friendly readers, we’ll save pasta dishes for another blog because the best wine pairing for these meals really depends on the type of sauce accompanying the dish.
What do you think about this wine guide? Here’s more from Eighty Mph Mom!