By Harold Camaya.
Think of wine and the one thing that immediately strikes you is what food would pair well with which wine! As they say, finding the right wine with the right food is a match made in heaven!
The age-old rules defined for drinking wine are simple: red wine goes with red meat, white wine goes with white meat, and rosé is good for the summer. However, not everyone is a non-vegetarian. Or maybe you’re simply bored with basic wine pairing rules and want to try out something new and exciting! Well, why not?!
A good choice can raise your experience from enjoyable to memorable. So here we will list out for you a few unconventional food-pairing wines which you would like to try out!
1. Red wine surprise
White wine pairs very well with chicken. However, that does not mean you should not try red wine with chicken! Think Burgundy or chilled Bandol next time you want to get a bit adventurous.
According to Sommelier Victoria James from Cote, a Michelin star Korean steakhouse in New York, you could also pair fish with red wine. She believes that white wine goes well with fish because the grapes are low in tannins, which typically result in bitter or sharp characteristics in wine. But we also have similar characteristics exhibited by low-tannin options like Champagne, rosé, and reds from grapes like Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Rossese. So you could take a break from your regular whites and try one of these to get a refreshing change in your meal.
Surprisingly, red wine is also a great option for grains like farro, quinoa, and barley. That is to say, that you could very well eat healthy foods – fibrous bread or a grain bowl and yet treat yourself with a good wine. Try reds from regions like Languedoc, southern Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
2. The steak combo
Try something new with steak. Usually, people go for the powerful red wines like the Barolo, Brunello, Northern Rhone, and Bordeaux. But there’s no hard and fast rule for that. Red meat need not always have to go with deep reds. A red such as a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir, or even Champagne can help aid with the digestion and could be one refreshing option!
3. A rosé for your salad
Well, it’s not easy to truly complement a raw veggie salad with wine. The reds and even the whites are usually found unsuitable for the palate when combined with the veggie diet. However, your salads will taste great with a rosé. As James states, ‘A rosé is versatile, and its fresh fruit character is the perfect flavor to combat the pyrazines [vegetable aromas] and vegetal profile in salads.’
4. Whites for the creamy yumminess
Opt for creamy whites if you are eating hummus. Beans or foods with a creamier texture like hummus taste well with white wines. James recommends having white wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation. White wines from the Rhone, Provence, Burgundy, or Bordeaux traditionally pair well with creamy bites.
5. Cold cuts, cheese and Sangria nights
Who does not love cheese?! And cheese accompanied with a sangria will definitely give you a well-deserved treat! Sangria may be served as an accompaniment to cheese because of its rich creaminess and mild flavor. You can serve the cheese on crackers or crostini with sliced Granny Smith apples. The rich, earthy flavor of goat cheese is a perfect match as it balances the fruitiness of sangria. You can also pair aged cheddar, Gouda, Asiago, and Camembert with sangria.
Cold cuts also work well with sangria due to their saltiness and smokiness. Cured meats, cheese and nuts, and sangria! There you have a hit party right there! Serrano ham, prosciutto, and salami are all good options. You can serve them with your choice of white or red sangria.
Fruity, refreshing sangria can be prepared with red or white wine, sparkling or flat, based on what you like best.
Tips for serving your wine:
Here are a few things to avoid if you truly love wine:
1. Don’t serve white wine straight out of the fridge.
2. Ensure that your wine bottle always lies flat on its side and maintain its ideal temperature by keeping it in a cool, dark and still place.
3. Cool your red wine in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving for an improved taste.