Anyone can master the useful skill of matching the right drinks with the right foods; it’s not as difficult as you would imagine! Selecting a beverage whose characteristics go well with food can bring out taste notes that you weren’t even aware of. But where do you begin? The secret is to recognize the primary flavors in your food and pair them with the primary flavors in your beverage.
This can take some experience, but here are some classic food and beverage pairings that come highly recommended.
1. Wine With Cheese
Wine and cheese are traditional pairings for celebrations, picnics, and small get-togethers. The wine is known to be smoothed out and even have its flavor enhanced by good cheese-paring.
Some basic wine and cheese pairings are white wine with soft cheese and red wine with hard cheese. However, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. Cabernet and brie go well together, as does Chardonnay and mild cheddar. Find a combination that pleases your palate by trying out a few different ones.
Various combinations are possible because there are countless varieties of cheese and wines. If you’re a wine enthusiast with a diverse collection of wines, then you would fare well by investing in a large wine cooler that you can get from a reputable source like https://www.lovecraftwines.com/. Then you can even throw a wine and cheese party to figure out all the right combinations.
2. Beef and Red Wine
Finding a wine that goes with a cuisine that has one of the four basic flavors—sweet, salty, sour, or bitter—and matching it depends on whether the wine shares the same elements as the food or effectively contrasts it. Red wine and steak go together frequently, and for a good reason. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon is a highly robust wine with black currant, plum, cherry, and spice notes. With rich, dark meats, the cabernet’s assertive flavor matches superbly.
3. Fish and Lime Cordial
When served with lighter fish dishes like roasted sea bass, lime cordial is a fantastic complement since it brings out the subtle flavors of the fish. A cooked fish fillet goes well when paired with lime cordial, giving your taste buds the tang they need with the fish.
4. Beer with Food
Wine isn’t the only beverage that may be paired with food. There is also a trend where top chefs are serving some of their menu items with craft beer. Craft beers, like wine, are renowned for having robust and complex flavors. The ingredients used by craft brewers in their formulas range from fruit to chocolate and coffee, and these flavors can go well with the correct fare. Almost any type of ale is excellent with the majority of beef dishes, from ambers to porters. Pork and poultry are common pairings for lagers and pilsners.
5. White Wine and Seafood
Though white wine has previously been associated with fish and other types of shellfish, in recent years, we have seen some clever modifications in pairing. A popular white wine called Chardonnay is available in many various flavor qualities. It pairs well with seafood and is often a little sweeter than a dry Pinot Grigio. Pair your Chardonnay with a mild cheddar for a tasty menu that includes an initial light bite. You can start with crab cakes or oysters for an appetizer and then have fish or shrimp for the main course. A side dish or the main course can both include pasta in a light cream sauce.
6. Desserts and Wine
Most people have a basic sense of how to combine their favorite main courses with a suitable red or white wine, but when the dessert menu comes around, they could be less knowledgeable. For many people, chocolate desserts are a must; the flavor can be improved by serving them with a glass of vintage port wine. Bordeaux and cognac, which are distilled versions of wine, combine well with chocolate-based dishes. Dark chocolate pairs nicely with merlot’s milder flavor, while chocolate-and-berry treats mix well with Cabernet Sauvignon’s rich, complex flavors. A dry or sweet Riesling is your best option if you want to pair cheesecake with a wine. Any type of fruit pastry, pie, or turnover goes well with this wine.
7. Meat and Berry Cordial
Berry-based cordials, especially those that are spiced, provide a rich, aromatic flavor that is the ideal complement to meats with stronger flavors like lamb and game because the berries’ richness fosters bold flavors. Additionally, it tastes excellent with celebratory seasonal meats like roast duck.
8. Food and Tonic Water
Because they are so bitter, traditional tonic waters are the ideal food companions because they balance out strong flavors and cleanse the palate. It pairs well with Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine along with sweeter meat dishes. If you can’t stand strong tonic water, then go for a light one. Slimline tonic water pairs well with anything that has delicate, lighter flavors, such as salads, quiches, and courgettes with homemade pesto, and is great for individuals who are watching their calorie intake.
9. Sushi With Green Tea
The ginger that comes with your sushi is there to help you cleanse your palate. Although sushi can be a casual meal, the quality of the fish and presentation are crucial to the art of sushi. Consider trying assorted flavors and textures the next time you have sushi. Try sipping a cup of green tea in between slices of sushi and enjoying the flavor. Fresh sushi and tea’s delicate, earthy flavor make a delicious combination that keeps the fish at the center of attention.
10. Steak with Unsweetened Tea
Tannins are substances that give your mouth a drying sensation. Although they are typically mentioned in relation to wine, tannins can also be found in non-alcoholic beverages such as tea. You can get a more flavorful bite of your steak by consuming it with a cool glass of tea. Choose a mildly sweetened or unsweetened iced tea for the finest flavor, and savor each drink between steak slices.
Once you understand the fundamentals, matching food and drink isn’t that difficult. If in doubt, try new pairings! You are the best at knowing what you enjoy. In the end, what matters most is that you enjoy your meal. Have fun pairing!