Question: I was asked to pick wine at a restaurant and I have no clue to pairing wine or what kind to order. Is there any help you can provide for wine pairing?
Whether you are at a restaurant or you are hosting/entertaining, a knowledge of wine pairing with food will make you a gracious host. We will cover popular wines and beverages in this post that will help guide with pairing wine and food in any social situation you find yourself in.
PS: When asked to choose wine at a business lunch or dinner or birthday party, be sure to know the wine you recommend or ask the waiter to give the best choice when unsure.
1. Champagne: Champagne is generally acidic and they are rated on the amount of residual sugar they have. So there is dry and sweet champagne. Brut being the driest champagne.
Champagne works well with anything salty. Hence they are paired with exotic seafoods such as oysters, caviar lobsters and lightly flavored chicken
2. Chardonnay: This full flavored white wine pairs nicely with dishes that have been flavored grilled, sauteed, or roasted dishes. Pair a glass of chardonnay with pasta dishes and white meats such as chicken, or turkey; fatty fish such as shrimp, salmon. Avoid pairing Chardonnay with beef.
3. Pinot Grigio: Pinot Grigio is a delicate white wine that works well with light fish dishes, ham Italian dishes like ravioli. Avoid pairing Pinot grigio with strongly flavored seafood and beef.
4. Sauvignon Blanc: This zippy wine is in the chardonnay family. The sauvignon blanc works well with casual foods such as grilled or sauteed vegetables. Pair Sauvignon Blanc with white meats such as chicken or pork, seafoods such as crab, shrimps. Avoid pairing Sauvignon Blanc with Pasta and cream, beef and sushi
5. Riesling: Reislings are usually sweet or dry. The sweet reislings being generally low in alcohol can be taken durng the day time and paired with light meals or snacks
Pair off dry reislings with eastern dishes or spicy meals such as Indian foods etc. The slight sweetness of Riesling makes it compliment with sweet & spicy dishes. It helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes.
6. Moscato: Moscato is a sweet wine and it enhances the taste of fruits. Pair a glass of moscato with yummy fruit desserts and light fresh cheese.
7. Pinot Noir is great for dishes with earthy flavors. Works with recipes that includes mushrooms, meats such as beef; seafoods such as full flavored salmon. Avoid Pinot Noir with pasta and cream.
8. Cabernet Sauvignon is awesome for formal dinners. Cabernet Sauvignon is great with steaks or chops. They don’t go with most seafoods. The firm tannin refreshes the palate after each bite of meat.
9. Malbec: Malbec is in the family of Carbanet Sauvignon and it works well with grilled or roasted meats. It’s a good fit for barbeque, stews.
10. Merlot: Merlot is a softer version of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot works well with red meats. Avoid pairing Merlot with anything citrus sauces or cream.
For non alcohol drinkers just replace
Sauvignon Blanc with traditional lemonade,
Riesling with white grape juice, sparkling apple juice,
Rosé and light reds with cranberry juice, red grape juice,
Pinot Noir with pomegranate, raspberry or cranberry juice,
Merlot with plum juice,
Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant or blackberry juice,
Champagne with sparkling apple juice.