Food and Wine Pairing Tips for Beginners

What could be finer than sitting down at the table, ready to tuck into your favourite meal? A glass of wine? Sure, a glass of wine is always lovely, but what about combing the two?

If paired up correctly, a glass of wine can really elevate your food and take it up to a whole other level you never thought possible. The idea behind wine pairing is to elevate the food and the wine so that they compliment each other perfectly.

People assume that wine pairing is easy as it’s basically a case of red wine with red meat, and white wine with meat and fish. The truth of the matter is that it’s much more complex than that, and if done right, your dining experience will be unforgettable.

To help you take your meals up a level, here are several food and wine pairing tips for beginners.


Red meat and Cabernet Sauvignon are a match made in heaven

While there are plenty of red wines out there such as Shiraz, Merlot, and Malbec, if you’re looking for the perfect red wine to pair with a rich red meat such as lamb chops, or ribeye steak, Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine for you.

The tannins found in this particular red cut effortlessly through the richness of the fat in the meat, along with the proteins to help smooth out the tannins and enhance the flavour of the meat.


Tawny ports pair well with cheese and with chocolate

When talking about port, which is a fortified wine, people often associate port with two things: Christmas, and cheese. As port enthusiasts often point out however, port is for life, not just for Christmas.

While ruby port gets all the love, you can’t overlook a good, aged tawny. A tawny port pairs especially well with cheese and with chocolate, though not necessarily at the same time.

While a stronger tasting ruby pairs well with strong cheese like stilton, tawny port is better when paired with milder, slightly sweeter flavours. Tawny port pairs especially well with mild cheddar, gruyere, creamy blue cheese, and a good Comte.

Tawny port is also a good dessert wine as it goes well with milk chocolate-based dishes, brownies, and praline chocolate.


Pinot Grigio is the ultimate wine for light seafood dishes

Whereas some seafood dishes can be strong and have a strong fishy and salty taste, there are also plenty of mild, light, and delicate seafood dishes which are not overly, well, fishy. When eating these types of dishes, a Pinot Grigio should be on hand.

A Pinot Grigio actually helps to lift the flavour of the fish dishes and enhance the flavour, making for a very enjoyable dining experience.

A plate of seafood tostada bites for example, go incredibly well with a fine Pinot, though a French Chablis will also work almost as well if you can’t get your hands on a Pinot Grigio.


Champagne is wonderful for salty dishes

Champagne isn’t just a sparkling wine reserved for celebrations and special occasions, it can also be a wonderful sipping wine for when you’re tucking into salty dishes.

Champagne might be dry, but it also has a touch of sweetness that cuts through rich and salty foods perfectly. Champagne therefore works incredibly well with dishes such as crispy pork belly, French fries, and battered and fried fish and seafood dishes.

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