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How to Pair Food with Wine

What to drink with what you eat has long been one of the great mysteries of life. What goes good with what? Is it fish with chips? Steak with potatoes? Chocolate cake with ice cream? There are lots of different theories about which foods go with which wines, but when it comes down to it, the most important thing is personal preference. There is no universal rule that says white wine goes with fish and red with white meat – it’s all a matter of taste! If money is a factor then you should spend more time on your decision. For example, if you look at red wine price you will realize that the best wine is not always the most expensive one.

The Basics of Wine and Food Pairing

Consider the purpose of the food that you’re pairing with the wine. Are you having an elegant dinner? A casual lunch with friends? Or are you just snacking on leftovers in front of the TV? Either way, it’s important to match the wine to the food, not the other way around. You wouldn’t drink white wine with steak, would you? Of course not! So it shouldn’t be the other way round either. As a general rule, it’s best to stick to one main type of wine for any given meal or occasion. So if you’re having a pasta dish for dinner, for example, you might want to choose an Italian wine to accompany it. This doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to just one kind of wine for your entire meal though – you can choose a white for the first course and a red wine for the second course, for example. Just make sure that you have a good variety to choose from and that you’re not too limited when it comes to choice.

What to Consider When Pairing Food with Wine

“Think flexibility: oaky Chardonnay is a very popular varietal, but it is one of the least flexible white wines to pair with most foods. Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling from Germany or Alsace, or a more neutral wine like Pinot Grigio offer much more flexibility. More flexible red wines either have nice acidity, such as Chianti, red Burgundy and American Pinot Noir; or are more fruity, such as Beaujolais and Zinfandel.” Different styles of wine require different levels of preparation to bring out their flavor – some need to breathe first, while others are better suited to being served at room temp or even chilled.

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