We all know that wine and food are a perfect couple, but when it comes to paring the right food with the right wine, we don’t always know what to choose. Every type of food has a different wine that complements its taste, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you find that your favorite wine doesn’t go that well with your favorite cheese. It seems complicated, and it really is if you approach it in details and consider it to be a philosophy of life, like many hedonists and professional food tasters approach to the Food and Wine. However, if you simply want to find the wine that will go well with the lunch you are cooking today, you can follow a few of our tips and you’ll do just fine. Not all of us are food philosophers and hedonists, but we can all learn a few rules that will make our meals a lot better. Humans have made wine that goes with certain type of food for over 5000 years, but there are wines that go nicely with most meals. You should know that it’s easy to combine right and in reality it’s hard to go wrong because there are just a few wine and food combinations that totally don’t work. With the help of the Internet today, you can easily find the food match of wine with any food you intend to prepare. This article will be very helpful for you to learn the basics.
Food and Wine: Cheeses
The cheese and wine combination actually requires some serious analytical session if you want to get in to it completely. I would have to write an entire book if I wanted to explain everything in this food philosophy, but I don’t think you would be in the mood for it and I already said that this article will clear out only the basics of combining Food and Wine. However, don’t forget to taste different combinations on your own because cheese and wine make a wonderful pair and it would be shameful not to experiment and have fun with it. This combination creates a true explosion of tastes. In general, I would have a few broad categories to propose for you if you are searching for the perfect pair between a particular cheese and a specific wine. The first of them is the category of cheddar and other similar cheeses that are sharp (also called English cheeses). They go well with dry red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Gruyere and Swiss cheese will create the perfect pair with Pinot Noir. Blue cheeses make a traditional pair with fine, sweet dessert wines such as Sauterner, but you should also try different red wines with them. They go surprisingly well with very dry Sherries. When you’re combining blue cheese with wine, you should be careful with tannic reds such as Cabernets because that pair will create an unusual metallic taste that you probably won’t like. Creamy cheeses like Brie and Camembert are complemented the best with buttery, rich Chardonnay or Champagne. If you want to find the perfect wine for hard cheeses like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, you should go for Italian dry reds. The goat’s milk cheese is perfectly complemented with sauvignon blanc.
Food and Wine: Barbecue
I am sure that everyone has tasted a barbecue-wine combination that didn’t work so fine. That’s probably the reason why most people prefer to combine their barbecue with beer. It is true that the spice, smoke and sweet sauce that make the barbecue so special are not so friendly to your fine wines, however, if you want to make your barbecue dinner a little more special and combine it with wine, it’s time to go for simpler, quaffable and fruity wines. Zinfandel is a great match for your barbecue. If you are looking for something more interesting than that, you can try Beaujolais and Petite Sirah. Grenashe (Australian Shiraz) makes an outstanding Food and Wine combination with barbecue. It’s fruity and almost sweet tasting, which makes it a great complement to your favorite barbecue sauce. Sometimes you may feel that the barbecue and wine combination is a little too much, especially on hot summer days. Not everyone likes this combination, so if you feel that you don’t want to waste good wine and good barbecue – you don’t have to combine two tastes you like individually in order to create a combination of tastes that doesn’t feel right. As I said, there are wines that go perfectly well with barbecue and can make it more special, but if you don’t like it – just open a beer and enjoy.
Other popular Food and Wine pairings
Artichokes are known to be “wine killers”, but this is also a barricade you can work past. We’ll take an example: Italians love to eat artichokes, and they also love wine. We should learn from them and serve the artichokes before the main meal, because they create a sweet taste to whatever follows, or at least it is believed that they do so. You can lean the artichoke dish toward balance with Italian white wines like Greco di Tufo or Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The asparagus is another distinctive flavor which makes an odd Food and Wine pairing, but you would be surprised of the good combination with Sauvignon Blanc in herbaceous style. Always serve beef with tannic, dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux. Caviar lovers usually mix that luxury with Vodka, but you should really respect this fine food with the spectacular Champagnes you can get. Caviar and Champagne create a combination that is simply indulgent. The tiny bubbles of this fine wine will create a textural comparison with the nature of the grainy fine caviar, and the tart, crisp nature of the Champagne will balance nicely with the fishy saltiness of the caviar. When it comes to chicken, you can never go wrong with the old rule: red meat with red wine, white meat with white wine! However, roast chicken goes perfectly fine with red wine too. Burgundy, Bordeaux, Dolcetto and Beaujolais will be a nice complement to this versatile meal; but Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling would be great choices too.