Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wine and Food Pairing for Dummies

I spent a lot of time researching the art of wine and food pairing.  Unfortunately most of the articles I found were written by wine snobs for wine snobs.  I finally stumbled upon a simple straight forward article that I was able to understand.  So instead of reaching for my handy two buck chuck or Hess Chardonnay next time I am going to pair my vino of choice with the dish I'm cooking.

Below is some of the information I gleamed from the articles I read:
  • Complementary and Contrast are a "big deal"
    • Complementary: choosing a wine that is similar to the food that you are preparing.
    • Contrast: choosing a wine that is also dissimilar to the food that you are preparing.
Key characteristics that can complement or contrast with a meal are:
  • Flavor: earthy, herbal, fruity
  • Intensity: scale from weak flavor, moderate flavor, to very flavorful
  • Texture: from crisp and firm to soft and supple
  • Weight: light-bodied, medium-bodied, and full-bodied
For those of you who are like me and do not have the educated pallet that it takes to determine all of these characteristics I have listed classic pairings below:

  • Oysters and traditional, unoaked Chablis
  • Lamb and red Bordeaux (Chianti is good with lamb, too)
  • Port with walnuts and Stilton cheese
  • Salmon with Pinot Noir
  • Amarone with Gorgonzola cheese
  • Grilled fish with Vinho Verde
  • Foie gras with Sauternes or with late-harvest Gewürztraminer
  • Braised beef with Barolo
  • Dry amontillado Sherry with soup
  • Grilled chicken with Beaujolais
  • Toasted almonds or green olives with fino or manzanilla Sherry
  • Goat cheese with Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé
  • Dark chocolate with California Cabernet Sauvignon

To Read More visit How to Match Food With Wine  

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