Wine and Dine: 4 Tips for Picking the Right Wine to Pair with Dinner
In the days of social distancing, we could all use a good get together with family and friends. Provided everyone has been safe over the last few months, small gatherings with proper precautions are a mostly safe endeavor now. That's the perfect excuse to catch up over dinner, right? But no dinner would be complete without some good wine. If you're a bit rusty on how to pick what to pair with your meal, though, here are four quick tips on doing just that.
1. Consider the Occasion
A big part of properly pairing a wine to dinner involves the menu, but you would also do well to think of the occasion you'll be drinking it, too. Given the circumstances of the present day, it might be worth grabbing something a bit finer than you're used to. It will be the first time you're seeing some people after quite a while, so make it a night to remember with a drink that's worth your time.
2. Light or Heavy?
When selecting a wine, try to compliment the type of food you're having in not just taste but the type of food you're serving. In general, lighter meals with lean protein often pair best with white wine while richer, fattier foods and red meat go well with red wine. Properly pairing like this means that neither the drink nor the food fully overshadow the other.
Sweetness is a major flavor consideration for wine pairing. As a rule, your wine should typically be sweeter than the dishes you plan to serve with it. This keeps the wine from getting lost in the flavors of the food given how prominently we taste sweet things. As an example, a deep and complex tomato-based dish might call for a robust port.
4. Match the Sauce
While most tend to pair a wine with the main protein of a dish, it's just as important if not more so to match your wine to your sauce. After all, the sauce is one of the most prominent parts of any course and colors the flavors of everything else. Steak and red wine go well together to be sure, but if that red wine won't also go well the sauce you've made for your steak, you're not going to be able to enjoy any of it at the end of the day.
There are few things that can lift the spirits quite like good food, good friends, and good wine. If you're planning on a responsible get together in the near future, take these four wine pairing tips with you in order to make it a night worth having.