As the saying goes, “Every man to his taste.” This is also something that applies to pairing wine and food since there are no hard and fast rules about what should be combined together. That said, it’s also true that some flavors go together better than others and, if you start combining things willy-nilly, you run the risk of ending up with a clash.
To keep this from happening and to avoid an unpleasant experience for your palate, we’re going to give you some pointers so you’ll know how to combine certain dishes with the type of wine that provides the best taste result. In other words, the wine that helps bring out the flavor of the food but doesn’t interfere with its natural aroma.
The first thing, when it comes to pairing food and wine, is knowing that there are three aspects you should always bear in mind:
Texture: A fruity, smooth wine is better combined with savory and sweet flavors. In the case of astringent wines, it’s best to serve them alongside fattier dishes.
Less is more: In other words, if your menu includes lots of dishes, it’s best to avoid serving lots of different types of wine, as this can saturate your palate. And if you opt for just one kind of wine, try to make sure it’s something light, the reason being that a light wine is more likely to go with most dishes.
Balance: Possibly the most important aspect. You don’t want the flavor of one thing to overpower the other, but instead the opposite: You want the flavors to enhance each other and combine together harmoniously, always respecting the space of the other one.
With all of this in mind, we’re going to list each type of wine – red, white, rosé – with its ideal dish.
Does your dinner include cold meat? Choose a red wine
Roast beef, carpaccio, and steak tartar are all classic choices for dinners at home. However, choose a lighter red, because one that packs a stronger punch could end up masking the flavor of the meat, which isn’t too intense in these kinds of dishes. It’s better to save stronger red wines for other red meats and poultry. If you’re not convinced by red wine, these dishes also go well with a dry white wine.
Is salad the star? Choose a rosé or white wine
Salad can be served as an appetizer or first course, with a lightness and freshness that mean it’s a perennial favorite to include in a dinner. When choosing a type of wine for this dish, you can go for either a rosé – also ideal for an aperitif – or a white wine with a fruity aroma. You can rule out white wines with a sweet touch, however, since instead of emphasizing the freshness on the palate, they’ll create a sickly-sweet effect.