Whether you’re a budding wine connoisseur or simply want to make great selections for your next dinner party, here are some tips for food and wine pairings everyone will love.
1. Emphasize flavors.
Identify the most expressive components of a dish and then select a wine that accentuates them. For example, a holiday bird like turkey or duck served with cranberries pairs very well with the classic fruity notes of a Côtes du Rhône or a Vacqueyras bottle.
2. Look for balance.
Think of the wine and food as equal partners that should both have similar, complementary weights. Pair intense foods with intense wines, rich foods with rich wines, light foods with light wines and so on.
3. Consider the region.
Vineyard location makes a vital difference to the tastes and aromas of wine. Opt for a place with a strong history of producing superior wines, like the vineyards of the Rhône Valley, which are located in a corridor between the Mediterranean Sea and Northern Europe and have been producing wines for over 2000 years. Benefitting from excellent soil diversity, rich and vibrant land, and a variety of appellations, the region is known for its world-class pleasure wines, available in red, white and rosé.
4. Cheat with color.
A great trick that’s helpful if you’re short on time or not sure where to start is to match the colors in your food and wine. Try a light, bright white with hints of green with a garden salad and a dark red with a hearty stew.
5. Trust your instincts.
These guidelines are a helpful start, but remember preferences are unique and individual, so cater to yours. Pairing food and wines is an art that’s informed by what you like to drink and eat, and choosing your favorites is what matters most. If you love pairing a white Saint Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage with your steak rather than the red that tradition dictates for beef, go for it and enjoy.