How to choose a wine to go with your meal? If you want to find the perfect balance between the meal and wine, it’s a rather sophisticated process that demands a lot of knowledge.
However, there are some simple tips that will help you choose good combinations without having to dig through the history of wine and each harvest season’s taste qualities.
6 important tips for choosing wine for your meal
Here are some tips you will probably find useful.
- Choose wine and food that you enjoy.
- For Italian food choose Italian wine, and for French food choose French wine. Wine and food that comes from the same geographical region will generally go well together.
- The wine has to be sweeter than the served meal and it applies for desserts also.
- Red wine will go well with beef.
- White wine will go best with chicken or fish.
- Wine’s taste intensity has to be as strong as the meal’s.
If you hate onion soup, no wine in the world will help you enjoy it. The same way you have to choose a wine, if you don’t like dry wine, then don’t choose it. By choosing a wine that doesn’t compliment your meal, the worst case that can happen is getting a sour taste in your mouth, which you can easily wash down with water.
Take into consideration that wine is also a great gift idea so these tips will be useful for choosing the right kind of wine for someone else. More on that in the article Last minute gift ideas.
General views about wine and meal combination
We will take a look at the most common wine and meal combinations that will allow you to avoid huge errors. Most importantly you must know what you’re going to cook and what is going to be the main centerpiece. Then you must find the wine for it.
An exception will be a meal with a rich sauce; in this case you should look for a wine to complement it instead.
- The type of wine to go with chicken is a traditional choice. Grilled meat will be complimented by Chardonnay, but for chicken served in a rich sauce you should go for Cabernet Sauvignon.
- For pork, you must choose a wine according to the way in which the meat is prepared and what it’s combined with. A majority of red and white will be a good match for pork. Some popular combinations are: pork chops with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc; BBQ ribs with Rosé, Riesling or Zinfandel; ham with Riesling, Vouvray or Merlot, but pork fillet will be a good match together with Pinot Noir, Tuscan or Chianti wines.
- Beef and lamb will go well with red wines such as Shiraz or its combination with Cabernet. Other good choices will be Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir.
- Fish and seafood will be complimented by Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
- For spicy food it’s recommended to choose sweeter wines as they help to neutralize the burning sensation in the mouth. Sauvignon Blanc will be a good match for a mild spicy flavor, but for more spicy meals choose Merlot or Riesling.
- Food that contains lots of tomatoes, such as pizza and spaghetti will match well with Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio or Albarino.
- Cheese and wine. Hard cheese will go well with Shiraz wine, blue cheese – with sweet wines, but soft cheese will be a good match with dry wines such as Riesling or Marsanne, also pink and sparkling wine. For goat cheese a classical combination is Sauvignon Blanc. Strongly scented cheese must be matched with sweet wines such as Gewürztraminer or a type of port wine.
- For desserts you must choose a dessert wine. Here you must follow the rule of having wine that is sweeter than the dessert. Some recommendations: vanilla cake will match well with Riesling or sparkling wines, desserts with fruit and spices (like cinnamon) can be served with white wine or pink champagne, but chocolate or caramel desserts will be complimented with red wines such as Pinot Noir and Australian Shiraz, and port wine.
Wine is one of the healthiest alcoholic beverages, with red wine being healthier than white wine. Research suggests that an occasional glass of red wine can provide certain health benefits, like providing antioxidants, promoting longevity, and protecting against heart disease. However, you must practice caution and drink only in moderation.
While wine can be found healthy, remember to still drink enough water during the day. The article Infused Water: Healthy Recipes has some great tips on how to do so. And find some great water bottles from article TOP Water bottle brands.