It is safe to say that wine lovers enjoy great food and wine combinations. Pairing the right dish and wine is a craft that any wine collector or wine consumer needs to perfect. Pairing wine and meals can make or break a dinner party that you have spent so much time and effort preparing. So, how do you figure this out? First, you need to understand that old wine comes in different types; red, white, sweet, dry, fruity, etc. You can find specific bottles of old wine to match the type you prefer. Read on to learn various combinations of wine and certain foods that work well together.
Combinations that you like
Even the finest wine lovers sometimes fall prey to marketing gimmicks at restaurants or in the media. They end up making poor choices of wine and ruin their meal entirely. Regardless of what the experts say, you are in charge of deciding what ends up on your plate and in your glass. If you are dining at a restaurant, do not get carried away by pairings that are not familiar to you. However tempting it is, ordering wine off the menu based on the price tag is not a guarantee of a good wine pair for your meal.
Simple versus complicated
Usually, complex wines go well with simple dishes and simple wines go well with elegant dishes. If you wish to impress guests with that Cabernet Sauvignon that recently reached its maturity, go easy on the food menu. Serving exotic foods will downplay your choice of wine and guests may fail to appreciate your wine aging skills. Allowing a dish prepared in a matter of hours to compete with your meticulously aged wine is not exactly the pat on the back you want.
White meats with white wine
Serving white wine with white meat is the most common understanding of food and wine pairing. If you are serving white meat for your guests, make sure to decant a bottle of white wine to go with the meal. Examples of white meats are chicken, sushi, pork and all types of fish.
Texture of the wine
While the components of old wines are perfectly balanced, this can be offset by wrong food pairings. Food can either accentuate or diminish the acidity and sweetness of the aged wine. After the painstaking process of aging wine, be careful not to ruin it by serving the wrong dish.
Balance food and wine
As the philosophy goes, pair rich foods with delicious wines. Creating a perfect combination is all about texture. Balance food and wine by weight so they are not competing for attention. Determine weight based on the amount of fat present in the food. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with grilled lamb chops. Similarly, pair fine foods with lighter wines for best results.
Red meats with red wine
Similar to red meats such as beef and mutton, a meal of fish can work well with red wine. It all depends on how you cook it. Prepare fish with mushroom or red wine deductions, and you have a perfect candidate for your bottle of red stashed away in the cellar.
Most old wines have a fruity aroma, e.g. the Cabernet has a currant flavor. While deciding on suitable foods to pair with your fruity wine, add a similar fruit flavor to your food to create a link between the two. No need to worry about your dish overwhelming your wine; these links will enhance the prominence of the wine.
Spicy and salty dishes
These type of foods pair well with white Bordeaux wine. Spicy dishes are a staple in South America and Asian countries like India. Spicy foods tend to react with the tannins found in old wine making it feel hotter, as opposed to non-spicy foods. If you are fond of spicy Mexican dishes, select a bottle of fruity or slightly sweet wine to go with it.
Wine and Cheese
You will never go wrong with wine and cheese pairings. There are many varieties of cheese in the market, and you are at liberty to select your favorite type of cheese. White wine is best for cheese pairing due to its high acidic content. A sweet white wine has high sugar levels that blend perfectly with the natural salty flavor of the cheese.
After learning how to pair food with old wines, there is one last thing you need to do. Decant your wine. Decanting is a process where you separate your old wine from the sediments at the bottom. This process is done by tilting the wine bottle to the side and holding a light next to the neck of the bottle. Carefully pour its content into another container until you spot the sediments. The Barbaresco and Barolos wines taste much better after decanting.