This article was published on December 10th, 2018
Show off your mad adulting skills and throw a perfect dinner party with perfectly paired wine. Pairing the perfect wine takes more than just good luck. You need to be educated on what types of wine goes with what type of food. Here are the basics of what you need to know when it comes to wine pairing 101.
Which wines to pair with which foods is knowledge that can take a while to acquire, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to throw the dream dinner party you were always meant to host. Be it a Christmas party or a revolving dinner, Barefoot Wine and Homoculture have your ultimate wine pairing 101 guide to combining the best vintage with the best cuisine.
The first rule of wine pairing that is super easy to remember is white goes with light. Lighter meats like turkey, chicken, fish, and sometimes pork are complimented by white wines. Red wines match better with beef, veal, and venison.
The richer the dish, the dryer and more full-bodied wine you want to go with. A creamy or fatty chicken or fish dish will pair much better with a rich chardonnay while a heavy meat dish would go alongside a nice rich Barefoot merlot. An earthy wine like Pinot Noir goes better with earthy ingredients. Let the dominate flavor of the dinner dictate the wine pairing—don’t always let the main course be the determining factor.
Tannins pair with fatty foods and foods high in acid match better with more acidic wines. Think charcuterie platters. The structural ingredient in red wine, a tannin is the bitter-like taste you’ll often taste when drinking a crimson vino. Fatty steaks and pork go great with a cabernet or syrah, both high in tannins.
Dishes like tomato-based pastas, citrus fish or chicken, salad entrees, and acidic dishes are complemented by wines that are high in acid. Barefoot Bubbly bubbles and sauvignon blanc are both wines high in acid that go perfectly with these dishes. Acidity, for the most part, also equates to a wine being more flexible and easily paired with multiple dishes.
Good wine pairing is also about a wine’s flexibility. Wines like Barefoot cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay are very distinctive and don’t pair when served alongside a variety of wines. Barefoot Wine’s chianti, pinot noir, and sauvignon blanc are all wines that can be mixed and matched with different cuisines across the board.
Matching an ingredient in wines with the food you’re eating will also help you pair the two with better accuracy. Fruity wines go best with fruity dishes. Full-bodied foods go well with full-bodied wines. Rich foods? Rich Wines. The most prominent ingredient in a meal will help you decide which is the best wine to choose.
To throw the ultimate Christmas party this holiday season the best tip for wine pairing is choosing a tried and true wine you know and love. If you’re nervous about pairing wines, start slow and build up confidence as you go along trying different options. Barefoot Wine has a vast collection of different wines to choose from, with a wide-range in price points. Start with a wine you enjoy and slowly begin branching out from there. Whether it’s a gorgeous riesling or a decadent pinot grigio, this Christmas, you can rest assured with a little bit of basic wine pairing training. Just in time for the holiday season.