deciding on a wine to serve with a particular dish, there's one question you have to
decide first: Red, White, or Rose? Picking the right color wine is a key part of getting
the pairing right - so how do you choose? We make it super-easy with three no-brainer tips to
this pairing question.
Meat Color to Your Wine Color
OK, we get that this sounds maybe a little silly. But it's a simple rule that actually has a strong
basis in flavor science. Red wine (and
roses) get their color from being fermented together with grape skins. This process
adds tannin, which gives the wine more bitterness, as well as bolder
flavors. In meat, darker types of meat come from muscles that are used more, and
therefore have more fat and the protein myoglobin. The more fat and myoglobin, the
richer and gamier the meat.
Since rich flavors pair better with rich flavors, and delicate
with delicate, this rule just works. If you're dish doesn't have a meat, consider the
'meatiness' of whatever is the main ingredient. Portabello mushroom = very meaty (think
red). Tofu = not so meaty (think white or rose). Or consider sauce and spice, our Rules #2
Tip #2: Change the Pairing if the Sauce +
Meat Don't "Match"
Let's take the famous French
dish Chicken Coq au Vin. You might be thinking "chicken - pair with white wine, right"?
Probably in most cases, yes. But what about chicken that's been stewed in red wine? From
experience I'll tell you it tastes better with red wine. That's because the sauce has such a
powerful flavor of red wine it just 'goes' with a red. And this doesn't just impact dishes cooked in wine - some
sauces just cry out for a pairing choice that's not the same as what the meat is telling
So if the meat and the category of the sauce don't match, you'll have
to decide whether you adjust your pairing or leave it as is. Our tip is to consider
how dominant the sauce is in the dish. If it's a stewing liquid, like in the Coq au Vin
example, it's going to be a major element and you'll need to pair to that. If it's not
the star, like a small amount of creamy sauce accompanying a steak, don't change the
TIP #3: Balance Spicy with
There are a few types of flavor that can just plain derail a wine
pairing. Spiciness can alter your perception of a wine and make it less enjoyable
if it's not a wine that can take the heat. What wine is best for spicy food? A white that's
a little sweet (see our full post on Wine
Pairing for Spicy Food) cools the heat and cuts through that spice better than any dry
wine - red, white or rose. There are some non-Whites that can work with spicy
food, but for no-fail pairings, stick with the off-dry Whites here.
Tell us about your favorite wine pairings: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article: Summer BBQ
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