Some Wine and Food Pairing Basics

Food and wine pairing

It may be the question we get most frequently: what goes with what?! So let me put a couple of ideas out there that might help in a variety of situations as you consider what wine to pair with particular foods.

First it should be said that there are no hard and fast rules, only guidelines and tips. Generally speaking, if you drink a wine you like with a food dish that you also enjoy, you will be happy! That said, here are some things to think about: varieties of wines, like varieties of food, have different flavors and weights. (And those two qualities are very different from each other, agreed?)

Ginger and green pepper, for example, are both light, but have very big flavor. Potatoes, on the other hand, are heavy almost any way you prepare them, but are not themselves very flavorful. You see the difference. So determine these two qualities in your food, and then match them in your wine. Mushrooms are another good example: light-bodied but earthy, umami in the mouth; pair with a red blend like our Pack House, or a pinot noir, wines that are not heavy, but do have a savory depth. Spicy BBQ, likewise, asks for a red wine that refuses to be overshadowed, and a malbec or our Chambourcin fits that bill. Spicey food also likes sugar, to temper it a bit, and that same sweetness in a wine will provide balance to a salty dish. The tang of a sauvignon blanc or a riesling, white wines that are lighter than most reds, wants a salad or seafood with a little zip. A silky chardonnay will handily take on a lush seafood sauce.

If you can use the same adjectives to describe the wine on your table and the dish that you are serving with it, you have the foundation of a very good dining experience. Bon appetit!

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