Pairing wine with your meals is an easy way to be sure that your drink of choice tastes wonderful along with the food you cook. If you’re like me though, figuring out which wine is best isn’t always the easiest task. After all, even the smallest liquor store usually has a shelf full of wine. So, to save you some time and frustration, I’ve put together a short and sweet list of the best tips for pairing wine with your meals. You can use these next time you’re caught trying to choose the best vino at a restaurant or at home. Let me know if you have tried and true tricks that aren’t on the list.
If you’ve made it a habit to sample as many wines as possible (and really, who hasn’t?), you know that some are more overpowering than others. You don’t want a really strong tasting wine if you’re eating a light and delicate meal. Most of the wine experts suggest thinking about what you’ll be eating as the top method for pairing wine with your meals. In fact, the intensity of the wine matters more than the color, according to some sommeliers. So, if you’re eating salad or fish, a milder wine is probably a great bet. For steak, a rich red works wonderfully.
You probably know that wine varies in flavor. Some are fruity while others are oaky and leathery. When you’re choosing your wine, opt for one that has a taste that melds well with what you’re eating. For example, a fruity white wine is perfect to go with an egg casserole at brunch, while a “manly” red wine is ideal if you’re serving up barbecued chicken and baked potatoes.
Some wines are naturally sweeter than others, and you probably want to consider that before making a choice. If you don’t like that sweet, fruity flavor while you’re eating a meal, but prefer to save it for dessert or to drink alone, you want to take that into consideration when choosing your wine. Choose something a bit dryer if you want to enjoy it with a meal. However, if you like sweet with your meal, go ahead and choose a Cabernet or Pinot Grigio.
If alcohol content is something you care about, it’s a good idea to check out the label on your wine to be sure it aligns with your desires. Some wines are naturally higher in alcohol than others, which means you won’t be able to drink as much without feeling the effects.
The body of wine refers to how it feels in your mouth. They all feel different, and believe it or not, some are heavier than others as you drink them. That can influence which ones you like best with your food. The only way to figure out which one is best is to try out various bottles. I know – that’s not hard, right? Grab a few bottles and have yourself a fancy wine tasting and you’ll easily determine which one feels and tastes the best in your mouth.
I am by no means a wine snob, but it’s easy to fall into the trap that the best wines come from Napa or the south of France. The truth is that good wine is available all over the place and it doesn’t dictate which one tastes best with your meal. With time, you’ll figure out which regions produce the wine that you love best. If you have a preferred region, make sure you look for that next time you purchase a bottle.
I think the bottom line when it comes to choosing wine to go with your meal is to choose what you like best. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what all the experts say as long as you enjoy the wine you’re drinking with your food. Am I right?
How do you choose the best wine for your meal? At the risk of sounding silly, wine is wine to me. I like red better than white, but I tend to stick to my favorites rather than spending the time and money to try others. Please, feel free to share your favorite tips and brands so I can perhaps look a bit more wine intelligent.