If you are planning to host a party or special dinner, there are usually two important things that need your special consideration: the food and wine to be served. Most people have a problem when it comes to selecting the right wine that should go with the food to be served. To help you out, here are some basic tips to remember when pairing wine with food.
Things to Remember When Selecting Wine for a Dinner
1. Choose the wine that you like to drink.
This is the most basic principle in selecting wine for a special dinner or other occasion. This way, even if the wine doesn’t perfectly pair up with your meal, you will still enjoy your wine. Don’t assume that your food will taste differently if matched with a wine that you don’t truly like; it will not. So it’s better if you choose a wine that you like to drink from the start.
2. Look for balance when pairing wine with food.
If you don’t have any special preference when it comes to wine and you would like to appropriately pair your wine and food, the first thing you should consider is balance. Consider the weight or richness of both your food and wine. Neither the food nor the wine should overwhelm the other. To know the right balance, it needs a fair amount of your instincts.
To determine the weight of food, consider the fat and the sauce used. For the wine, weight can be determined by the color, alcohol level, variety of grape, winemaking technique, and the region where it came from. Generally wines with more than 14 percent alcohol content are heavier.
For the right balance, match heavy food with heavy wine. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with lamb chops, lamb steak, beef with mustard, and beef with Worcestershire because these foods are heavy, just like the wine itself. The same goes with mild food with mild wines, flavorful food with flavorful wines, acidic food with acidic wine, and so on.
3. Match wine with the most dominant element of the food.
To fine-tune your wine choices, you also need to identify the dominant character of the food served. More often than not, it refers to the cooking method and the sauce used rather than its main ingredient. A good example of this is with chicken recipes. Chicken recipes can either be heavy or light. Fried chicken or any chicken cooked in dark red sauce are leaning toward being heavy while a poached chicken with lemon sauce is leaning toward being light.
To determine the dominant element, it is best that you consider the dish as a whole. What is more overwhelming in its flavor that made an impression to you? Is it fatty or lean; flavorful or mild; rich or acidic? Whichever is your answer, there is a wine that will perfectly match that food.
If you are a host and are thinking of what wine to serve which will perfectly match the food, it is best that you plan your dishes first in advance and from there, you can select the type of wine that will match them. If you are not sure what different wines taste like, you can easily search them out on the Internet. And when still in doubt, the rule of the thumb is that wines are best paired with foods they grew up with like Italian food with Italian wine.
These tips are not all encompassing but nevertheless, they can help you in your decision on which wine to serve in your table especially during special occasions.