What goes with chicken?
Most people probably know the basics of pairing wine with food: red goes with beef and white goes with poultry and pork. But what about sparkling wines and a rosé or blush wine? What pairs with pasta and vegetarian dishes? What goes best with spicy foods? And what on earth should you serve with dessert?
Food and Wine has some simple rules that should answer all those questions and have you tippling and toasting with exactly the right beverage.
Serve a dry rosé with hors d’oeuvres. It has fresh acidity, light body and fruitiness—the best of both white and red combined—so it will go with virtually any appetizer. Check out Real Simple for a list of 11 delicious make-ahead hors d’oeuvres that will make your next cocktail party simpler than ever!
Serve unoaked white wine with anything you can squeeze a little lemon or lime on. Unoaked wines are those that are fermented in stainless steel instead of oak barrels. According to WiseGeek.org, they tend to have a lighter, fruitier flavor than wine fermented in oak. Look for unoaked Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Eating Well has dozens of fish recipes—perfect with a little spritz of citrus!—to pair with your favorite unoaked white wine.
If you’re having something hot and spicy, reach for a low-alcohol wine. Alcohol accentuates the oils that make spicy food hot, so wines like an off-dry German Riesling are best. Wines with a little bit more sugar are also a good idea since the sweetness can counter the spiciness too.
If you’re partial to heat, check out these spicy recipes from the Food Network.
Unless the wine is the dessert, serve a wine that’s not as sweet as the dessert you’re planning so you’re not overwhelmed with sweetness. This is the perfect time to pull out a lovely, light sparkling wine.
Speaking of dessert, you can even bake with wine and save some calories while you’re at it. According to WebMD, you can use wine or sherry in place of some of the fat in certain cake recipes, which lightens up the cake and adds flavor too! Check out this Chardonnay Spice Cake Recipe.
Probably one of the most important rules when it comes to wine pairing is to drink what you like, regardless of the rules. If a cold, crisp glass Chardonnay paired with a big thick steak sounds heavenly to you, then go for it! It’s fun to follow the rules and experiment with what the experts say, but you know what you like, so raise a glass and just enjoy!
412310A CAN/US (04/15)