Have you ever wondered what would make a good wine pairing for a certain dish or what to bring for a hostess gift? It isn’t all about Fish = White Wines and Meat = Red anymore.
I think I tend to make my wine decisions by price. Some times when I have an extra few bucks in my pocket I will try something more pricey. This Naked Grape Pinot Grigio was $8.00 I think you can get a really good bottle of wine for about $14.00 I have had cheaper and more expensive but I think the $14.00 is a good middle of the road priced wine. This Murphy Goode was $14.99 and went great with chocolate.
I also like to go to wine stores that have a description of the wine. This place by my house (and also next door to my gym, dangerous!) has great descriptions of the wines and sometimes offers tasting and pairing suggestions. I usually like Pinot Grigio but have been experimenting in the reds lately and I find that I like the flavor with food. I think that some reds are so dry they suck the moisture out of your tonuge.
If all else fails buy something that you like the name or the picture on the label. If you are drawn to it by sight before taste than you are probably going to remember if you like it or not for the future. This bottle caught my eye because of the cute little doggie paw print but it did NOT taste as good as it looked. Oh well, but at least I will remember not to be fooled by the paw print again.
I found this website in my google searching and thought it made some great suggestions for the layman like myself. These little points from http://www.chiff.com/wine/food-match.htm were worth mentioning:
Ten Rules-of-thumb for Food and Wine Pairing
1. Match quality of food and wine
If you are taking wine as a gift to a dinner party, don’t worry about matching the wine to the food unless you have been requested to do so and have enough information about what is being served to make an informed choice. Just bring a good wine. A grand dinner party with multiple courses of elaborately prepared dishes deserves a better wine than hamburgers on the grill with chips in a bag.
2. Light before full-bodied, dry before sweet, low before high
When you’re serving more than one wine at a meal, it’s customary to serve lighter wines before full-bodied ones. Dry wines should be served before sweet wines unless a sweet flavored dish is served early in the meal. In that case match the sweet dish with a similarly sweet wine. Lower alcohol wines should be served before higher alcohol wines.
3. Balance flavor intensity
Pair light-bodied wines with lighter food and fuller-bodied wines with heartier, more flavorful, richer and fattier dishes.
4. Consider how the food is prepared
Delicately flavored foods—poached or steamed—pair best with delicate wines. It’s easier to pair wines with more flavorfully prepared food—braised, grilled, roasted or sauteed. Pair the wine with the sauce, seasoning or dominant flavor of the dish.
5. Match flavors
An earthy Pinot Noir goes well with mushroom soup and the grapefruit/citrus taste of Sauvignon Blancs goes with fish for the same reasons that lemon does.
6. Balance sweetness
But, beware of pairing a wine with food that is sweeter than the wine, although I do like chocolate with Cabernet Sauvignon. I also like chocolate with good dark beer.
Come to think of it, I like chocolate with just about anything.
7. Consider pairing opposites
Very hot or spicy foods—some Thai dishes, or hot curries for example—often work best with sweet desert wines. Opposing flavors can play off each other, creating new flavor sensations and cleansing the palate.
8. Match by geographic location
Regional foods and wines, having developed together over time, often have a natural affinity for each other.
9. Pair wine and cheese
In some European countries the best wine is reserved for the cheese course.
Red wines go well with mild to sharp cheese. Pungent and intensely flavored cheese is better with a sweeter wine. Goat Cheeses pair well with dry white wine, while milder cheeses pair best with fruitier red wine. Soft cheese like Camembert and Brie, if not over ripe, pair well with just about any red wine including Cabernet, Zinfandel and Red Burgundy.
10. Adjust food flavor to better pair with the wine
And that is Sharon’s Shenanigan’s Wine Pairing 101! Now go out there and try something new.