There is no better way to complement a great meal than with a lovely wine. Choosing the right wine is something that most people find quite confusing. The truth is that most people end up choosing their favorite wines for every meal, which is not always the best thing especially when entertaining. Whether you are planning a dinner party or you simple want to select a wine to pair with your lunch, choosing the right wine is important. The good news is that you do not have to be a wine connoisseur to learn how to pick the right wines for each meal. Following are some rules for selecting the right wine.
Matching the flavors
Most wine drinkers will agree that the senses play a major role when it comes to selecting favorite wines. Your senses will help you to select the right wine for your meals. The wine’s aroma can guide your preferences and making the right choice can help to bring out the flavor in your food. A strong or full-bodied wine may not be the best choice for light food like fish as it can end up overpowering it. A sweet wine makes most desserts taste even sweeter. By pairing a dry wine with sweet foods, you can enjoy the aromas and flavors in the wine and also in the food.
Red or white
One of the most common questions when choosing wine is whether to pick red or white. Red wines have a heavy, full, rich flavor, and they work best when paired with dishes such as pork or beef that tend to be heavy. Some popular reds include Bordeaux, Cabernet and Sangria. Lighter meals like turkey, stir fry, salmon and vegetarian dishes can be paired with white wines like Chardonnay, Rieslings or Pinot Blanc. While it is not a matter of life and death, most wine experts will agree that the wine you select should match the color of the food.
It is a good idea to match your wine with the cooking technique. How you plan to prepare the meal should inform your wine choice. If you choose a delicate cooking technique such as poaching, sautéing or grilling, choose delicate wines that will not overpower the food. If you choose to roast, fry or flame-broil your meal, serve the food with a heavier, rich wine. Well, before you rush off to the liquor store, think about the spices that you plan to use in your food as this will affect your wine choice.
Try to match the wine with the food’s flavor intensity but avoid overpowering the palate. If you serve foods that are heavily spiced, such as curries, choose a lighter wine for a less intense meal. When pairing wine with your meals, consider the alcohol content. Wines with low alcohol content are best used to complement dishes like pasta or grilled chicken while high alcohol content wines are best paired with heavier, full dishes such as those that contain a heavy cream.
Serving multiple wines
If you plan to serve several different wines during the meal, you should serve the light wines before the full-bodied ones. For the salad course, serve a white Riesling and follow this with a Cabernet for a main course of pork or steak. You should serve dry wines before sweet, serving the sweeter wine as a perfect complement to the dessert course. You should serve a wine that has a lower alcohol content first and then move on to stronger or heavier wines after. There are always some exceptions to the rule like a port wine works perfectly for a dessert course that has chocolate.
All in all, when choosing wine for your meal, let your nose be your guide. To get the best results, you can experiment with several wine pairings to find what suits you best.