Perfect Pairings

It’s Valentine’s Day and, if you are like me and don’t want to brave the crowds to have a romantic dinner with your honey, then you are preparing a special meal at home.

Well.. what goes better with a special meal than a great bottle of vino.

Finding a great pairing between wine and food can be magical. When you find the one that plays perfectly off of the other, it hits that sweet spot and angels sing. Likewise, when you get a pairing that jars, it can ruin the meal.

Wine pairings can be complicated – full of rules, pomp, and procedures – but, ultimately, it all comes down to taste. Your taste in wine, the taste of the wine, and the taste of the food.

The general rule to go with is: red meat, dark meat, and heavier foods pair best with red wines while lighter foods, white meat, and seafood pair best with white wine. So, if you are having steak go with a red wine and if you are eating chicken go with a white wine.

Now, if you are having pasta, the wine to choose depends on the pasta’s sauce. Red sauces like marinara and meat sauces generally go best with red wines while white sauces like alfredo and garlic butter sauces pair best with white wines.

One easy guideline is, if you use a certain type of wine in the preparation of a dish, that wine can be paired with the dish when served. For instance, red wine can be easily paired with a steak with red wine reduction sauce while white wine can easily be paired with shrimp pasta with white wine butter sauce.

merlotDespite all of this, its up to you what you want to drink and with what. Wine is meant to be enjoyed and savored. If you want to drink Chardonnay with your steak, go for it! If you want a Merlot with your fettuccine alfredo, no one will show up at your door and arrest you for it. When it comes to wine pairings, do what makes you happy despite the “rules” and keep it fun.

And remember… champagne goes with everything!

Happy Valentine’s Day … and Happy Wine Pairings!

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