When you are just starting out entertaining and inviting close friends home for dinner you may not give much thought to the food and drink you serve.
It’s more about burgers and beer at the BBQ than fine wines and three courses, but when you want to do something a little more formal it can be really useful to know the best matches that can be made between food and wine.
Some people spend their working lives advising on this topic, and there’s definitely a lot to learn, so here we are just looking at the basics of this huge and in-depth subject.
Where do you start?
Something to keep in mind is that you can either start from scratch and decide on the wine you like the sound of before organizing the best food to complement it, or you can decide on a menu then tackle the possible wine matches.
This flexibility is useful as planning what to eat which may need to be based around pleasing guests with specific food needs and intolerances, alongside individual likes and dislikes, your budget, or even just what food you happen to have in and wish to use that day.
The science behind food and wine pairing
It’s good to know exactly why people bother spending time making a good match between the food and wine they wish to serve together, especially when you probably have good memories of a pan of spaghetti which went just fine with the supermarket red wine you bought at a discount.
The point is that while there are plenty of accidental or convenient matches which taste perfectly pleasant, food and wine pairing is about taking things to the next level – harnessing age-old strategies to create a near-perfect balance between the characteristics of the wine and the ingredients in the food dish being served.
The top basic food and wine pairing tips in a sentence each:
- The wine should always be sweeter than the food it is paired with – which explains the use of dessert wine.
- The wine should be more acidic than the food served.
- Serve intense, full-bodied wines with food you would describe the same way.
- Bold flavored food such as red meat tends to be better with red wines, as are…