Choosing the Right Wine for Every Meal and Moment
You don’t need to visit a French restaurant to enjoy a fine glass of wine. All you need to do is know how pairings work and you’ll enjoy every glass, at every meal, and given any circumstance.
There are a ton of wines that you can choose from and the abundance in options should not overwhelm you. For one, there is no real guide that will tell you to only drink a certain type of wine with a certain type of food.
It is about your personal preference. Drink wines that you like and avoid those that you don’t enjoy, plain and simple.
But if you are new to wine then this article might help you out. Consider these pairings as suggestions to guide you when you shop or go out to dinner at a fine-dining restaurant. And if you find yourself in a bistro then it wouldn’t hurt to ask the wait staff or the in-house sommelier for some tips.
There are different types of wines reigning from various regions and to make things simpler for you, here are nine categories that you should focus on when dining:
1. Sparkling Wines are light, dry, and fizzy. They are best paired with creamy cheeses, shellfish, smoked fish, and caviar.
2. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are white wines that are dry and carry a green and herby flavor. They are best paired with goat and sheep cheeses, seafood, and leafy vegetables.
3. Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and Gewurztraminer are white wines, dry, semi-sweet, and have a flowery aroma. These are best paired with charcuterie and poultry-based dishes.
4. Semillon, Viognier, and Chardonnay are white wines that are dry and have a distinct fruity flavor. They are best paired with poultry, seafood, dairy products like butter or milk, and heavier cheeses like those made with cow’s milk.
5. Rose Wines are dry, refreshing, and shares the characteristics of white and red wine. They go well with smoked meats like those used for charcuterie. Heavier and aged cheeses also pair well with these.
6. Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay are subtle red wines. They pair well with aged cheese, charcuterie, lean meats, and berries.
7. Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Merlot are bold-bodied red wines. They are best paired with red meat, pork, woody herbs, and mushrooms or truffles.
8. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel are moderately-bodied red wines with a higher tannin content and acidity level. Aside from red meat, they are also best paired with sausages, hard cheeses, and crumbly but strong blue cheese.
9. Dessert Wines are sweet and sometimes have a syrupy consistency. Aside from blue cheese, these go well with nuts and dried fruits as well as chocolate.
And just as there are different types of wines produced all over the world, the best time for consumption depends on the wine itself so it is best to consult the manufacturers or sommeliers directly. Some need to breathe while others can be consumed directly after pouring. Some require chilling while others taste best at room temperature.
It’s time to enjoy a meal and your wine!