Wine has long been celebrated as the perfect companion to a scrumptious meal. The combination of good food and the perfect wine can elevate a dining experience to new heights. But getting the pairing right is an art, and art that creates a harmonious balance of flavours, textures, and aromas. When it comes to deciding on wine and food pairing, the possibilities are endless. The key lies in understanding the flavours and characteristics of both the wine and the food. It's about finding that meeting point, where the wine livens up the flavours of the food and vice-versa. You too can be a sommelier in your own right by getting the basic knowledge of wine and food pairing.
Why do we pair wine with food?
The properties of wines are such that they interact with food to create a delightful dining experience. Without overshadowing each other's offerings, wine and food work magically together to enhance the qualities of both. A wine connoisseur would always know what to eat with their wine, and now you can too.
What Food Goes With What Wine:
1. Sparkling Wine
The effervescent and bubbly sparkling wine makes for an excellent aperitif and is often enjoyed on its own. However, if you must combine it with food, choose light appetisers to complement its fizz and acidity.
- Cheese or fruits, or a platter of both goes well with sparkling wine.
- A Champagne pairs beautifully with cheese and olives as the briny flavours go well with the crispiness of the wine.
- A glass of Prosecco can be enjoyed with light seafood and fresh fruits.
2. Red Wine:
Red wines have more bitterness as compared to other wines but they can range from light and fruity to bold and robust.
- Pinot Noir, with its silky texture, medium body and red fruit notes, pairs well with dishes like roasted chicken or Indian tandoori paneer.
- The dark fruit flavours of Cabernet Sauvignon make it an excellent choice for pairing with the charred notes of grilled meats, barbecues, or dishes with smoky flavours.
- Merlot, with its medium body and smooth tannins, complements dishes such as mutton, mushroom dishes, and tomato-based pasta. The Indian dish of biryani is another good option.
- Enjoy your favourite pizza with red wine. The bitterness of the wine will complement the cheesiness of your pizza.
3. White Wine
White wines come in a wide spectrum of flavours - some are light and crisp and some are rich and buttery. White wines have more acidity and are light-bodied, and light meals should be chosen with them.
- Light snacks like paneer, fish or grilled chicken are the best foods to pair with white wine.
- Sauvignon Blanc, with its high acidity level and herbaceous nature, complements salads and seafood.
- Chardonnay works well with rich seafood like lobster or creamy pasta dishes.
4. Rose Wine
Rose wine, with its mildly sweet taste, has gained much popularity in recent years as a light drink. It offers a balanced melange of fruitiness and acidity.
- Dry rose goes beautifully with grilled vegetables, light pasta, and roasted chicken.
- A contrast pairing also works wonders when it comes to rose wine.
- A sweet Rose served with spicy snacks is a good idea.
5. Dessert Wine
Dessert wines give a perfect ending to a meal on a sweet note. So, any kind of sweet dish can be paired with dessert wines.
- Consider healthy fresh fruit or fruit yoghurt to round off your meal.
- Light pastries and creamy desserts make for an indulgent end-drinking session.
- Blue cheese can be opted as a lighter accompaniment to avoid sweets.
6. Fortified Wines
Wines like Sherry and Madeira are fortified wines and usually have higher alcohol content because of the addition of spirits.
- Dry Sherry can be served with salted nuts, olives, and cured meats.
- Sweet Sherry is best paired with rich desserts.
- Madeira has a distinctive caramelised flavour and is a good match for chocolate desserts and aged cheeses.
Wine pairing is not an exact science. Experimentation can also help you to find your perfect pairings.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.