Thursday February 12, 2015
Wine Pairing Tips for Outdoor Gatherings
Wine is not just for special occasions! It can be the perfect guest at any backyard barbecue or gathering.
- Don’t worry about bringing your fine stemware outside – use inexpensive stems, plastic cups or tumblers instead
- Anything goes at a barbecue!
- Place white wines in a cooler with ice to keep them chilled; place reds in the shade
- Incorporate fruit into side dishes or sauces to complement the fruit aromas and flavors in your wine
- Match the body and flavor intensity of the food and wine:
- Light-bodied wine with simply prepared, delicate dishes such as fish
- Medium-bodied wines with hearty white meats
- Full-bodied wine with flavorful red meat dishes
- Sometimes opposites attract – try hot, spicy foods with chilled, fruity whites
- Conventional wisdom states that white wines typically work well with seafood and poultry, while red wines work well with meat. This is a safe base, but don’t be afraid to experiment. For example, salmon is delicious with light-bodied reds!
- Consider not only the main ingredient, but the method of preparation and the sauce/side dishes. For example, pair Pinot Noir with grilled meats and roasted meats with Cabernet Sauvignon. Side dishes, such as sweet potatoes should be paired with a Riesling and pasta in red sauce with Merlot
- Wines with crisp acidity, like Pinot Grigio, work well with high acid foods (such as ceviche or lemon-pepper sole)
- Meat dishes balance powerful, tannic red wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon
- Fruity and aromatic wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, are the best accompaniment to greens, vegetables and spicy foods
- Wines and foods from the same region tend to pair well together
- Trust your own taste – if it tastes good to you, it’s a successful food and wine pairing