Your wine choice can bring more flavor to the table

Photo of wine and dinner.

The best wine can turn your dinner into the optimal meal. CC by Don LaVange/Wikimedia Commons

Choosing a bottle of wine can be a very daunting task. When hosting a social dinner function, having the right bottle of wine is a must. The food needs to be considered along with personal preference in these cases. Wine pairing is selecting a wine with a flavor profile that complements the flavor profile of the food. In order to ensure the wine and food go well with one another, you can pair wine and food with similar characteristics. Tnother approach is to have contradicting profiles, so that the wine can balance the food.

Red wine versus white wine

As a general rule, white wines tend to pair better with lighter food, while red wines are typically matched with heavier, richer courses. If you are having a light meal, salad and seafood, for example, you may want to try Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Chardonnay. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel and other heavier red wines tend to pair well with beef, lamb, veal and barbecue.

All in the details

There are other “rules” to consider when wine pairing, such as matching the spices used in food preparation. A Zinfandel or Chianti would go well with a with a red marinara sauce on pasta. However, pasta with a white sauce, such as parmesan or alfredo, would be something you would want to serve a Chardonnay or Merlot with. A Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are both better off with something like lemon chicken while a Pinot Noir or Merlot would go well with a chicken marsala.

The sweeter side

Dessert is another thing to consider when choosing wine. Try a late harvest Riesling with fruit or citrus based desserts. Those desserts might also go well with ice wine.Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with desserts that have dark chocolate in them. Champagne also goes well with chocolate, as do Port wines.

Having wine at a meal is always a nice touch, and wine pairing is a fun and exciting way to make meals more interesting. The thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong combination, and it’s good to experiment with different combinations until you discover what you like. And remember, wine is best enjoyed when others are around to share it.

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