While many of us get a bottle of wine based on our preferences, without thinking about what food will go along with it, knowing some basics about wine and food pairing can seriously up the ante on the flavors of your meals at home and while you’re out and about. While it may seem like a daunting task to understand the intricacies of food and wine, by following some basic principles, you can become a pairing pro in no time.
Like Goes With Like
When it comes to wine, a lot of the time complementary flavors come in similar pairs. If you’re having a sweet, decadent crème brûlée, reach for a sweet wine like a Moscato d’Asti or Riesling. If you’re dining on an acidic dish like a seasonal salad with fresh veggies and a vinaigrette, order a glass of wine that leans towards the acidic side, like a Sauvignon Blanc or Vouvray. While putting two intense flavors together may seem like too much, they actually bring out the subtleties in one another.
Choosing Based on Protein
Finding a balance within the wine and the protein you’re drinking is key to having a delectable meal. Rich, fatty proteins like steak will do well when paired with a high tannin wine, typically a bold red like a Petite Sirah or Cabernet Sauvignon. This is because the fattiness will reduce the bitterness of the wine’s tannins, offering a smoother and more delightful experience on the palette.
When encountered with fish, it’s important to note if it is a lighter, flakier fish or a meatier, thicker fish. If it’s lighter, you’ll want a bright white wine with fresh floral or fruity flavors, like a Portuguese Albariño. For a meatier fish, you can head more towards the heavier, bolder white wines, like a Viognier or a Grenache Blanc.
Putting Your Palette to the Test
Ready to take your newly acquired knowledge out on the town? In Boston, you’ll have hundreds of restaurants to choose from, and if you stay at Copley Square Hotel in downtown, you’ll be able to toast to some complimentary wine every evening at 5 pm for their Wine Down Hour.