We are not of those who see rules everywhere. Today, however, we wanted to give you some keys to making the best possible wine and food pairing! To make these recommendations complete, we also chose to break down some clichés.
Somehow you will find incredibly simple matches between some types of ingredient and some wines. Surprisingly, some color matches for instance could be perfect. A white wine with a white fish, a red meat or red tuna with a red wine (but not any). But these elements are not sufficient. There are many more elements to consider! Let us give you the tips you need to choose the best wine!
The aim here is not to give you some basic examples, such as Sauternes with Foie Gras or fish with Burgundy wines. Rather we would like you to be able to match any meal with a wine 🙂
The power of the wine must be considered in order to appreciate all the wines and all the meals you’ve prepared or ordered. Indeed, you should start with fine and light wines and end with full-bodied ones with more structure.
On top of that the intensity of the wine also matters. You should start with a dry white wine, a rosé or red wine, and you could finish with a sweet wine or a fortified wine such as Banyuls, Maury of Ratavia.
Champagne could be the best way to start a meal or even an aperitif due to its ability to awaken the taste buds.
You can pair a meal with a wine that shares the same characteristics. In this type of harmony, the wine and the meal are complementary. The consequence is that the wine will enhance the meal.
Here are a few examples to help you understand. A wine from the Northern Rhône Valley or a Patrimonio from Corsica will go perfectly with a pepper sauce on prime rib. Another example, a white fish can be a perfectly match for a white wine from the north of Burgundy. However, if you decide to add some sauce to this fish, you will need to choose another wine to obtain the best wine and food pairing.
In this case, the taste of the wine will counter that of the meal. The purpose is to balance the wine and the dish to achieve a perfect pairing. In this way, you can come up with incredible matches between savoury dishes and sweet wines.
For example, Roquefort will marry perfectly with a Sauternes. You could also match a young Riesling with sea scallops prepared with a creamy sauce, or try a white Sancerre with a ripe goat cheese.
As you know, the meal is the major determinant in selecting the wine you will drink. But if you want to go further, then you should even consider the ingredients you choose. The finer your ingredients are, the more your wine should have complexity. This will allow you to enjoy both the wine and the meal.
You can apply this to simpler wines matching with some simple meal of your everyday life! You do not necessarily need the most exceptional meal to savor some wines, though you do need to choose between contrast or concordance beforehand!
Of course, intensity is one of the main elements you should consider. The power of the meal needs to be evaluated first. You can only conceive incredible parings and contrast if you take this into account. If the wine is too light, it will not bring anything to the meal. If it is too intense, it will completely overpower the taste of the meal.
This must be taken in account because the wine evolves a lot while ageing. A wine, per its age, will not be served with the same type of meals. For a young wine, you can select some raw preparations which will respond well to its freshness and acidity. An aged wine will go better with warm preparations typical of autumn and winter, with more aromas and complexity.
There are not that many errors in matching wines with dishes if you respect the principles listed above. But let’s break down some clichés.
Sauternes or other sweet wines are incredible to pair with foie gras. But drinking sweet wine at the beginning of the meal means you won’t be able to appreciate the different wines that come after… if they are not as powerful and wide!
Champagne is not always the best with the desert… Because its acidity and its freshness won’t go well with with every desert. You should drink it during the aperitif instead. However, if you try some vintage and old champagne, it could match perfectly with some deserts.
If you have taken all of these elements in account, you will probably be sure to pair a wine with your meal perfectly. We hope this advice helped you to better understand how to match a wine to each one of your dishes! If you have any questions, do not hesitate, we will be happy to help you success wine and food pairing in the best possible way. 🙂 Now cheers 🍷