Finding just the right match for food and wine is a subject which has had a long history. Although wine was an intrinsic part of the staple diet at the beginning and was consumed as a beverage, which was considered more hygienic than the local water supply, quite soon there emerged a classic relationship between a region’s cuisine and the wine type. One needs to adhere to a few basic principles while striking a perfect wine-food pairing. So, what do we actually have to keep in mind while matching food and wine? Always choose a wine that reinforces the flavors of the food and acts as a mirror to its qualities. Both, food and the wine, should blend well with each other, instead of one taking over the other. A tried and tested formula is that when an acidic or mineral wine combines with a spicy Indian dish, it tends to enhance the overall taste. However, there are times when judicious experimentation pays satisfactory dividends. Often unexpected experimentation make for exciting experiences and end up being just so perfect meal even without following the historical anecdotes of white wine with fish or red with meat. Here we have few interesting wine and food pairings you can select from without much thinking.
Food & Wine Combinations
- Matching regional cuisine along with the wines cultivated in that area always strike out well. For instance, the vibrant and acidic tomato-based dishes as well as sauces of northern Italy blend well with the red wines processed in that area. So, close your eyes and sip a glass of Chianti while savoring a plate of Bolognese sauce. Similarly, a Loire Sauvignon along with a dish made out of delicate river fish is a match made in history.
- Besides going by traditions, blending international cuisines with the right wine, geographical boundaries posing no bar, is also fun. For instance, a glass of sherry from Southern Spain can find its perfect partner in a Japanese sashimi, while a fragrant Thai curry along with an Australian Pinot Noir or an Alsace Riesling can make you feel like a king. So, when rightly matched, global flavors make for a whole range of new possibilities.
- For grilled and barbequed food, a medium-weight red wine called Rioja is a great choice. This spicy and fruity wine has a fresh flavor to it. Made up of tempranillo roots, the wine makes a great match with steaks and other hearty meats. Another wine that goes well with ribs and thick steaks is Baco Noir. If you happen to be a white wine person, try serving a chardonnay called Chablis which is warm, oaky and smooth and tastes best with oysters, seafood and light poultry.
- Chinese cuisine known for its wealth of flavor is hard to pair with wine. A single dish may have all seafood, chicken and beef combined together. The trick is to identify the primary sauce or seasoning and then pair it with the right wine. While egg rolls, dumplings and salads go well with Sauvignon Blanc, noodles or light vegetable dishes can be paired with Chardonnay. Light meat dishes and thick sauces with Pinot Noir, while spicy ones with Gewurztraminer is a smart choice.
- It's Thanksgiving and you’re looking for the perfect wine to be served with the classic ham? For those who love red wine, Pinot Noir goes well with the light and sweet flavored ham. White wine lovers can go with Gewurztraminer which is both spicy and sweet. Besides, you can also try pairing your ham with the rose, blush and white Zinfandel wine. Even cherry wine serves right.
- For Indian cuisine, which ranges from tandoori chicken to fish curry to palak paneer, a red wine called Cabarnet Syrah is the best bet. It is a complex, deep-colored wine with a taste reminiscent of a combination of dried fruit, juicy black-currant, savory spice and gamey meat. Even Shiraz, a complex deep ruby-red wine which tastes of freshly ground black-pepper and distinct floral notes, pairs well with spicy mutton dishes, kebabs, kormas and aromatic biryanis.