Wine-and-Food Pairing: Sometimes Simpler Is Better

Wine can be a very intimidating topic for being such an enjoyable beverage.

To prove the point, we cite three of the books from our wine cellar library:

* The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia spans 600 pages, with entries ranging from Aan-de-doorns to Zweigelt.

* Alexis Lichine’s Encycloperdia of Wines & Spirits encompasses 713 pages, with entries ranging from Aalborg Taffel Aquavit to Zymase.

* The Oxford Companion to Wine runs 1,088 pages, with entries ranging from Abboccato to Zweigeltrebe (which, yes, is a longer version of Zweigelt).

For those who really enjoy taking deep dives into topics that interest them, these are great resources, simultaneously informing and sparking a thirst for even more knowledge.

But sometimes there is something to be said for getting back to the basics. And even though a book was written called “Red Wine With Fish,” there are tried-and-true pairings for red wine and white wine that require little thinking and are pretty much guaranteed to satisfy.

Pour a glass of white wine — almost any variety — and it’s pretty hard to go wrong by serving it with:

* Fish dishes

* Shrimp, crab or lobster

* Chicken or turkey dishes

* Salads, especially with a protein added

Pour a glass of red wine — again, almost any variety — and you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it with:

* Italian cuisine, especially with red sauces

* Barbecued meats

* Rich red meat dishes

* Pork dishes

* Duck

* Dark meat dishes

Yes, specific varieties of wine can be particularly enjoyable with specific dishes and, even more specifically, with the dominant flavor of the given dish. But if you’re preparing a simple meal on a weekday night and don’t feel like putting too much thought into the wine pairing, follow the basics outlined in this blog.

Simpler may not always be better, but it’s certainly less stressful.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes, Wine in the Glass
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