Wine Pairing 101

Jan 31, 2024Todd Jolly
Wine Pairing 101

Pasta with tomato sauce, is a widely made, family favorite. The key here is acidity. Tomato sauce is acidic, so it's best paired with a wine that can hold its own, like a fruity Chianti or a Barbera. These wines have the right balance of acidity and flavor to complement the pasta dish perfectly.

Grilled chicken is another common meal. For white chicken meat, a Chardonnay is perfect. Its oak and fruit flavors enhance the chicken's taste. For darker meat, try a Pinot Noir. Its red fruit flavors and light body make it a great match for the richer taste of dark meat.

Seafood dishes like fish or shrimp go well with white wines. A dry, crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a light Pinot Grigio brings out the best in these dishes. Their citrusy acidity complements the light, fresh flavors of the seafood.

For vegetarians, there are great options too. A salad with vinaigrette dressing pairs wonderfully with a light, acidic wine like Grüner Veltliner. For heavier dishes like a mushroom risotto, a smooth Merlot works well. Its body and soft tannins match the earthy, rich flavors of the mushrooms.

Cheese is a versatile partner for wine. Pair a creamy Brie with a light, fruity red like Beaujolais, or an aged Cheddar with a bolder red like Cabernet Sauvignon. The intensity of the cheese should match the wine's body.

Remember, wine pairing at home doesn't need to be fancy. You can enjoy a bottle of Zinfandel, Riesling, or Bordeaux with your everyday meals. Experiment with different varieties like Syrah, Merlot, or a sparkling wine. Use terms like vintage, vineyard, and terroir to learn more about your wine choices. And don't forget, a wine's aroma, body, and tannins are key to finding the perfect match for your meal.

In short, wine pairing is about enhancing your meal, whether it's a simple pizza or a gourmet dish. It’s about enjoying the combination of great food and wine, like Malbec or Moscato, in the comfort of your home. So, next time you're having a dinner, think about the type of wine you'll choose. Will it be a white wine or a red wine? Dry or sweet? The choice is yours, and the possibilities are endless!

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