Whether it is wine pairing food or on the contrary, the balance of taste buds is the most important one.
Wine is a fantastic partner for western cuisine. A proper glass of wine can elevate an ordinary dish into a delicious one. The "matching" of food and wine is marriage in English, which means "matrimony", and there are various theories about the matching style. Indeed, wine and cuisine have the myriads of changing combinations, just as thousands of marriage scenarios are staged. Pairing the food and wine suitable can become a splendid tale that could make the two complement each other and set off their flavor and mellowness. Therefore, whether it is the wine pairing the dishes or the opposite, knowing some basic matching methods can not only add flavors to the meal but can make one plus one greater than two, which leads the feast more delicacy than before.
Knowing the three different ways of drinking before and after meals.
Before illustrating how to match the wine and food, let's talk about the order of drinking wine. There are hundreds of styles of wine, and which should start with can best correspond to the etiquette of dining without missing the unique flavor? In principle, drink white wine first and then red wine; drink light wine first and then strong one; drink the unsweetened first and then the sweet; drink the newer first and then the old. This comes to the reason that although sweet wines and stronger wines have attractive aromas, they can somehow affect people`s sense of taste and smell. It brings blandness to the later wines when drinking the strong one first. Isn`t it a waste of those incredible treasures? Consequently, "first light and then strong" plays a significant basic role in table wine.
According to the order of meals, wines are roughly divided into three categories: pre-dinner wine, table wine, and after-dinner wine. There is also an unwritten rule that sweet wines usually go with deserts.
Pre-dinner wine, also known as "aperitif", has the function of stimulating appetite and is usually enjoyed with warm-up snacks or cold dishes. For instance, a glass of Champagne sparkling wine or a refreshing white wine with moderate acidity is perfect as an aperitif.
Table wines generally follow the principle of "red meat with red wine, and white meat with white wine". For example, in order not to let the dish or wine cover up the flavor of each other, it is common to choose less sweet dry white wine with seafood or chicken. Except for the ingredient itself, the ways of cooking must be taken into consideration as well. When it comes to the grilled or stewed seafood with a heavier taste, it should be accompanied by light red wine or barrel-aged white wine, which have moderate intensity and aroma. The white wine in the barrel is multilevel, which then produces flavors such as vanilla, smoke, and caramel. These are suitable for pairing with heavy-taste seafood dishes. As for red meat such as beef, mutton, and pork, can best match with red wine.
In regard to after-dinner wine, remember to "match the sweetness". The late harvest wine has a higher concentration of sugar due to the air-drying, water evaporation, or elimination in the production process, which is basically a relatively high concentration of sugar. Sweet wine, including German sweet Riesling, noble rot sweet liquor (Known as Trockenbeerenauslese in German), as well as ice wine from Austria, German, Canada, etc, are an excellent choice for after-dinner drinks.
What to do when it comes to the tricky one? Here are some flexible solutions that can help.
The above are some basic and simple situations, but sometimes we can encounter a more difficult "deadlock", even experts cannot deal with it in a smooth way. For instance, spicy hotpot, is it suitable for going with wine? The answer turns out that it depends on the situation encountered. It might seem to be perfunctory, but it's actually true. Generally speaking, alcohol can increase the spiciness of the food, making the burning sensation in the mouth more intense. Probably only the ones who are addicted to spicy have the bravery to do so. But when it matches with a wine with enough ice and sweetness, the sourness help remove the greasy taste, and the sweet has the effect of relieving the spiciness, so it somehow could be a good choice.
There are always exceptions to things. Can Chinese dishes go with wine? White wines with a certain degree of acidity, such as Reisling from Alsace, France, are the most gentle and graceful ones for it. As for the spicy Chinese dishes, the ice-sweet wine that was just mentioned should be on the list for sure. And must fish be paired with white wine? Light-bodied and fruity Gamay red wines can create the most romantic and colorful flavor for it.
Who says white wine is the only option for pairing with seafood? These red wines are also excellent choices!
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We often say "white wine with white meat," but this is not an absolute rule. If you want to pair red wine with seafood, you can choose relatively lighter or milder red grape varietals that may be more suitable for certain seafood dishes:
- Light-bodied red wines:
Select red wines with lighter flavors, such as those with low tannins and higher acidity. Examples include Pinot Noir and Gamay.
- Italian wines:
Some Italian red wines, with their light and mild characteristics, may be suitable for pairing with certain seafood. For instance, Dolcetto or Barbera, which offer bright red fruit and floral aromas, could be good choices.
- Red wines from cooler climate regions:
Red wines produced in cooler climate regions typically have higher acidity and lower tannins, making them more compatible with seafood. For example, lighter-bodied Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) from Germany or Zweigelt from Austria.
The choice of pairing red wine with seafood varies depending on personal taste and preferences. The best approach is to select based on the characteristics of the seafood dish and your personal preferences.
Leave behind the prolix style and hackneyed rites and walk confidently to the path of unimpeded marriage.
For people who don't want to be bound by lots of dogmas and love to enjoy liberty, several wines with a refreshing style are always on hand. Although they might not be the most speed-matching couples, they can still be inseparable. Liquor with a certain sweetness and coolness is almost the most versatile popular style. It is wonderful for exotic dishes and can stand out even alone. Red wine with a refreshing body, such as Gamay or Caramel Cabernet Franc, as well as rosé wines, can also get along well with seafood. The chilled champagne that can create the most romantic atmosphere shall not be missed. It is not like icy beauty at a party but can pleasantly play the role of the bride from beginning to end, and also elevate the feasts.
There may be a certain pattern between acquainting, falling in love, and getting married. Same as the matching of food and wine, after thousands of years of pondering, it has also developed a path of inertia for people to follow. In the generation of the freedom to select love, nothing can be stopped as long as people choose what they love. Picking a wine that belongs to your own taste that makes you feel comfortable, there is no barrier between seeking your favorite food, and it can also be the most perfect marriage scene.