‘Tis the season! To most of us, sharing a festive meal with family as we reminisce over the year that has been is one of the ways we enjoy spending this holiday. But perhaps washing down that sumptuous meal with a glass of wine is what makes the dining experience even more rewarding. Below are some wine and food pairing tips:
- Pairing wine and meat.
We have slaughtered several this season. Some we have roasted and chewed already. Others await a similar fate soon. But before then, here is the right way to pair your meaty delicacy with wine:
- White meat:
White meat such as poultry and pork chop pair best with Aromatic White Wine. Examples are Vidal Blanc and the Muscat Blanc aka Moscato. Their sweet-fruit aromas heighten the flavour of your meal, making it more delicious and enjoyable.
A serving of white meat can also be paired with full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay, Semillon, and Marsanne Blend. These are known for their rich, bold flavours; Rose Wines such as Duchesa Lia Frafolino, Hardy’s VR Rose for their rich grape variety or Light Red Wine such as Gamay and Pinot Noir, known for their highly perfumed aromas.
- Red meat:
Red meat such as lamb, beef, or venison are best paired with full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux Blend and Pinotage which are high in tannin. The bold flavours of such wines go down well with equally bold-flavoured foods such as red meat.
Red meat also pairs well with sweet Dessert Wines. An example is Port, which is equally high in tannin and fruit flavours.
- Pairing wine and Spice/Herb.
If you are one of the people who went down to the coast for the holiday, you may find this useful when deciding what to pair their spicy delicacies with.
- Baking spice
Baking spice such as Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and vanilla pair well with sparkling wine. Examples are Cava, Champagne, Lambrusco and Prosecco for their high acidity levels and fruity-sweet flavours.
They can also be paired with Aromatic White Wine such as Muscat Blanc or Dessert Wine such as Marsala.
- Exotic spices
Exotic spices such as ginger, turmeric, and cumin pair well with a variety of wines. These include aromatic white, rose, light red and medium red wines due to their fruity-sweet flavours.
If you love your nuts, then peanut, almond, pecan, and cashew nuts pair well with either aromatic white wine or dessert wine.
- Pairing wine and Vegetables.
Vegetables may not be a popular favourite during this season, but as sure as taxes and death, Njaanuary is coming. Vegetables will be there to see us through the long month. So, it may not be a bad idea to learn how to pair these life-savers with wine.
- Green Vegetables.
Green vegetables such as Kale, Avocado, Broccoli, Green Bean, and Lettuce pair beautifully with Light White wine. An example is Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet for their dry and refreshingly tart flavour.
- Root Vegetables.
Root vegetables such as carrot, turnip, squash, pumpkin, and butternut go down well with Aromatic white wine for their ability to pair well with sweet and sour flavours. An example is the Muscat Blanc.
Learning to pair wine with food opens a new range of ways you can enjoy the meal and consequently, a festive dining with family or friends.
Any other tip that has been working for you? Share with us in the comments!