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Pairing food and wine

NAPS – Trying to decide what wine to serve with what dish? “Trust your instincts and follow a few tips from the experts,” says Sid Goldstein, author of The Wine Lover’s Cookbook-Great Recipes for the Perfect Glass of Wine.

Goldstein’s first piece of advice is that there is nothing inherently wrong with the traditional wisdom that “red wine should be served with meat and white wine with seafood and poultry.”

You will not be chastised by your guests, rebuked by professional acquaintances, or snubbed by your beloved for serving a perfectly roasted leg of lamb with a zinfandel or poached halibut with a Chardonnay. Pairing by color is the food and wine lover’s most basic truth.

Photo courtesy fetzer.com


But the old wine rules simply weren’t created with today’s diverse, cross-cultural palette in mind. The changes in our culinary repertoire have forced us to broaden the way we look at pairing food and wine. We’ve had to cast aside any steadfast notions of what is correct and what is not. Some of the old rules remain true as directional guidelines, but the expanding culinary global mixing pot has dramatically changed their usefulness.

Ultimately, it is not arcane rules but personal taste and a variety of other social and environmental elements that lead to successful food and wine pairing. Here are some new guidelines, suggested by Goldstein:

  1. 1. Spicy, salty, smoked, and more highly seasoned dishes are best paired with fruity wines, such as a Gewurztraminer or a Johannisberg Riesling. In reds, try Pinot Noir as it has less bitter tannin and oak than many reds.
  2. Full-bodied dishes, such as stews, braised meats and poultry, and dishes with some cream, pair very well with richer wines, such as Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, since their texture and body are similar.
  3. Higher-acid foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits marry well with wines that have good acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.
  4. When pairing sweeter foods with wine, try to make the dish less sweet than the wine. Correct the dish with a touch of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar if it’s not.


For more tips on pairing food and wine, or to order The Wine Lover’s Cookbook, visit fetzer.com.

 

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