Wine is a luxurious beverage that many people enjoy. In addition to being a great tipple on its own, it can significantly enhance your meals by pairing the right food with the right wine. In this guide, we explain the top food pairing choices that will make your wine flavour so much better.
Best Food Choices To Use When Pairing Wine
Cheese is well known across wine circles to be a great enhancer of wine. The reason for this is because it has a neutralising affect that can help to reset your pallet. When your pallet is neutralised it creates a more refreshing effect when taking a sip of wine. It helps to bring out more flavour in the wine which can make your wine taste better than before. Some of the common pairing of wine and cheeses are as followed:
- Robiola – Sparkling Wine
- Brie – Chardonnay
- Taleggio – Pinot Blanc
- Camembert – Champagne
- Burrata – Tocai Friulano
- Feta – Beaujo
- Mozzarella - Sauvignon Blanc
- Goat - Chenin Blanc
- Ricotta - Pinot Grigio
- Stilton – Sauternes
- Blue – Riesling
- Gorgonzola – Port
- Cambozola – Eiswein
- Gouda – Merlot
- Cheddar - Cabernet Sauvignon
- Parmesan – Chianti
- Pecorino – Valpolicella
- Fontaina - Bardolino
- Gruyere - Sauvignon Blanc
- Double Gloucester - Zinfandel
Choosing a cheese that matches your wine will help to really bring out the wine’s flavour. As you can see there’s many different options you can choose from.
Seafood is another great pairing choice for wine lovers who want to bring out that extra flavour. Seafood (depending on the type that you choose) works well with an assortment of sparkling wine and light reds. Sparkling wine features a tingling, spritzed texture with a crispness and clean finish. Sparkling wines such as champagne and cava work well with fish including salmon, barramundi, and brim. For shelled seafood, such as crab and other shellfish, light red wine such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, Pinotage, and Grenache are the best options to really improve your wine’s flavour.
Stone fruit and other citrus flavours can also help to enhance the wine you drink. For this type of food, wine such as Chardonnay and Riesling (for lime and lemons) are great combinations. The reason why stone fruit and citrus flavours offer enhancing properties is because of the texture of the wine. Chardonnay especially tends to feature a buttery texture that can coat the mouth. When this occurs, you’ll generally be looking for something that it refreshing hence why stone fruit and citrus is a great combination. Meals with this type of fruit and flavours offer that refreshing taste that brings the perfect balance to these types of wines.
Sweet desserts often pair well with particular wines that create balance. Desserts such as cakes, biscuits, cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, and other sugary treats tend to work best with wines that offer richer, heavier and a dry texture. These types of desserts can really enhance the taste of wines including sherry, late harvest, port, tawny port, and Tokaji. Chocolate can be a bit trickier. However, red wines which feature good ‘new oak’ integration from ageing in barrels can have a sweet chocolate aroma to them. This will help to compliment a chocolate dessert.
Smoked meat offers a great flavour at the best of time, however if you pair this type of meat with certain wines, the flavour of both improves greatly. Smoked and cured meat often work well with Big Reds. Some Big Red wines that you’ll be able to enhance while eating smoked meat include Shiraz, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Mourvedre. Big food flavours require big wine flavours to complement one another. Using any of these with smoked or cured meat can really bring out the best in your wine. However, be mindful of spicy hot meats as these will nullify your pallet and when this occurs, drinking wine for enjoyment will be lost.
As you can see, these are some great food options that you can try with your wine to really bring out the flavour. Whether you’re new to wine or you’re more experienced, you can’t go wrong with these pairings. So are you ready to make your wine experience unforgettable?
David is a wine professional with over 20+ years of industry experience. He is the owner of online wine company Block78.