Category: Cooking, Food & Wine

How To Pair Up Different Wines With Snacks, Appetizers, Side-dish & Main Course

Italian hosts serve the first glass of wine with a assorted snacks and appetizers in the evening. It’s a part of their basic dining etiquettes. While you may pair any snack, cuisine or dish with red and white wines but choosing the right aperitivi complements the taste of your food. It enhances your dining experience.

First Rule: There’s a common misconception that red wine must be paired with read, lean meats and white wines go with bulky, white meats. This trend is prevalent at formal dinners and black-tie events but you shouldn’t compromise on your taste buds for the sake of enjoying wine. Strike this point off your list and get adventurous. Experiment with different food types and test your tongue to prepare a delectable list.

Second Rule: Basically, you choose a wine based on the type of food you’re eating. Nonetheless, if you’re serving a wide range of sauces, side-dishes and veggies along with the main course, you might want to consider the taste of spices used in them. Your food shouldn’t completely overcome the taste of wine and vice versa.

Foods That Complement Different Types Of Wines:

1) Chilled, iodine-rich seafood like clams, caviar, shrimp, lobsters and crabs go well with white wines with citrusy taste. However, when you’re serving the dish in hot cocktail sauce, you should pair it up with acidic alternatives like Sauvignon Blanc. The sweet taste of the sauce will beat the acidic nature of tangy wines. Likewise, pair up hot salsa sauce and spicy Mexican sauce with neutral options like American chardonnay.

2) Tannic nuts like pecans and walnuts, when paired with spices, herbs or honey, complement the tastes of shimmering wines, prosecco, champagne and Cava. The deep flavors of semi-roasted nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts and pistachio enhances the sweet taste of dessert wines (Port) and red wines (Merlot, and Pinot Noir).

3) A few barbequed vegetables and fruits go with old red and white wines. Artichoke hearts, olives, zucchini, oil-marinated vegetables, salad tossed in vinegar and eggplants work with flavorsome white wines. However, if you’re serving meat in the main course, you should serve thin slices of bresaola, prosciutto and salami with it. Spread garlic bread or crackers with terrine and serve them alongside meat.

4) If you’re fond of Asian cooking and use a lot of ginger, garlic or herbs in curries, you should serve white wines like Gewurztraminer with the main course. Match it up with Switch cheese and pork to enhance its flavor.

5) Chicken, lean meats and fishes served in creamy sauces, such as Alfredo complement the taste of Riesling and Chardonnay. Avoid serving Riesling with desserts and Chardonnays with spicy appetizers because they ruin the classy taste of these wines.

6) Chocolates and cheese varieties are my all time favorites. You may happily use dark chocolates with Cabernet, Ports and Merlot. Match up English cheeses or Cheddar cheese with red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Hard cheese varieties like Parmigiano Reggiano complement dry red Chianti and Barolo whereas Swiss cheese enhances the taste of Pinot Noir.

You don’t have to be a connoisseur when it comes to pairing wines with the right foods. Simply keep the aforementioned tips in mind and the guests will definitely appreciate your rich tastes.

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