Basic wine selection rules dictate that
white wines are best when paired with fish or poultry and red
wines with steak or spaghetti. But beyond these very obvious
choices, selecting a certain style of wine (varietal) and
country of origin will bring a new sophistication to any
dinner party, restaurant meal or social event. But how will
you know which wine to serve with what?
Firstly, Balance is everything.
Food and wine should harmonize. You probably won’t want an
overpowering Shiraz with your delicate lobster, nor would you
enjoy a dainty Chablis with those BBQ’d ribs.
Here are a few pointers for selecting
just the right wine.
1. Pair strong flavors together –
If you’re going to be enjoying big flavorful foods like
barbequed ribs, you’d probably be happiest with a red wine
which is big and fruity, possibly with an oakiness or vanilla
flavor. A good choice might be a Shiraz from Australia or a
Zinfandel from Northern California. A delicate red wine like
burgundy, (pinot noir), would be overpowered by this cuisine.
2. Spicy foods love sweeter wine –
With an abundance of exotic foods from foreign lands
tempting our palates, we want to experiment with the cuisine
of India, Thailand and all other Asian nations. An excellent
choice with fiery foods and their delectable sauces are the
sweeter white wines. Gewürztraminer, Rieslings and the whites
from the Alsatian region of France provide a wonderful
marriage of tastes.
3. Season, style body and weight all
During the colder months you may crave heartier foods like
a beef stew, pot roast or brisket. Serve these rich and meaty
foods with something robust like a cabernet sauvignon or
Shiraz. Likewise, in the summer months when you’re eating
lighter, (egg dishes. salads, fresh produce and fresh fish),
choose a Pinot Grigio or one of the fabulous rose wines from
the south of France to enhance the foods of the season.
4. Foods and wine from the same
country most often work well together.
If you’re ever in doubt, keep in mind that foods and wines
from the same county generally work extremely well together.
Traditional French bistro fare is wonderful when paired with a
Rhone wine or Beaujolais. While a good Chianti is ideal with
Italian foods such as succulent veal dishes or pasta. Spanish
wines are a terrific match with traditional chorizo sausage,
manchego cheese and tapas, and those juicy California wines
are superb with the fresh and delicious cuisine of the Bay