The festive season has come to a close, and the dark January nights have set in. The cold, long weeks begin to drag on as we all desperately pray for the escapism of spring – you are probably looking for a weekend release until then. Why not escape the cold and throw it back to the cosier festive season by hosting a food and wine pairing night at your house?
From Pinot Noir to Sauvignon Blanc and Rioja – there are so many flavour profiles to try and an abundance of opportunities to explore when it comes to wine.
A little history
Wine and food have been paired together for centuries, and although winemaking could go back as far as 8000 years ago, the process is believed to have begun around 4100 BC. Ever since then, people have been pairing wines with food at mealtimes, gatherings and events – mainly because the wine was safer to drink than the water at the time. Admittedly, the knowledge behind the pairings has got a little more advanced in more recent years!
There is an art to perfectly pairing food and wine together. Learn the basics, and you’ll be one step closer to nailing the process and hosting your best house party yet. Stick with us, and we’ll reveal our top seven mind-blowing wine pairing ideas to make your house party the talk of the town.
If you’re a wine pairing novice, you need to get to grips with the basics – understand what you’re doing, and you’re bound to be more successful. If you are unsure, ordering a case of wine is an excellent way to have high-quality wines sent over to you. From there, you can plan your menu, pairing your wines with some delicious delicacies.
- Ensure the food you serve is less acidic than the paired wine.
- Paired wine and food should have the same flavour intensity.
- The paired wine needs to be sweeter than the food (that’s why we all need a good dessert wine!)
- Red wines go best with red meats or anything boldly flavoured.
- White wines – the opposite, think chicken and fish.
- Balance acidic wines with fatty foods.
- Try to match your wines more off the sauce than the meat of the course.
- Rose, sparkling and white wines often create contrasting pairings.
- Red wines are usually congruent pairings.
Now you know the basics let get to work in revealing our top seven recommendations!
Full of rich flavours and a hybrid of the white Sauvignon Blanc grape and red Cabernet Franc grape, a Cab Sav is an excellent choice to pair with red meats like beef, venison and even lamb – anything full of flavour and rich in taste to cut through the intensity of the full-bodied wine. Cabernet Sauvignon can often have very herbaceous notes as well, so consider that when preparing your meat.
For the veggies and vegans – remember those rich flavours – try pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with portobello mushrooms and cheeses.
A divine white, Rieslings are incredibly versatile for food pairings. Usually high in fragrance and varying from region to region – all Rieslings are delicious when paired with food!
If your Riesling is of the lighter and crisp character, consider pairing it with delicate fish, or if you’re into it, raw fish.
Pair Riesling with a little more body with Asian foods, tuna, chicken and salmon.
From earthy, savoury flavours to fruity, berry-filled options – Pinot Noir offers diversity and is again an excellent option for food pairing.
Try an aged Pinot Noir – serving up rich, earthy mushrooms and beef stews to herby lamb dishes – once again, anything rich will set the flavours of the Pinot Noir alive.
Although fish is believed to pair best with white wine, next time you serve up a tuna steak, try out a fruity, lighter Pinot Noir. You’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. The acidic Pinot Noir is a perfect accompaniment for the rich and fatty tuna.
A popular white wine, which easy to drink and with a citrus profile – Pinot Grigio works well with lighter dishes. Think pasta, seafood starters and even light salads.
From chicken, risotto and prawn cocktails to summer evening Caesar salad, Pinot Grigio is an excellent pairing choice. However, avoid pairing with any heavy sauces like creams or vinaigrette.
Red fruit flavours, plush textures and undeniable popularity make Merlot an indisputable, must-have food pairing wine.
Think flavourful roast dinners whether it’s chicken, beef, pork or lamb, Christmas dinner and even popular comfort foods like Mac n Cheese. Merlot will pair well with anything rich in flavour and homely in feel. The moderate body and acidity make it a flexible wine pairing.
Grassy, citrus flavours burst onto the palate with a good quality Sauvignon Blanc. This makes it the perfect wine to pair with lighter options like seafood and veggies.
Go for goat cheese salads, stir fry and anything veggie-filled, light and summery!
Don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten rosé! A well-loved and popular option among wine lovers – good rosé will pair well with pretty much anything!
Pair your lighter, pale rosé with fish tacos. Slightly darker rosé will work well with salty, savoury options like anchovies and olives.
To round it all up
So, there you have our top seven wine pairings to help you host the ultimate house party with the best wine and food on offer. Stick to our hints and tips, and you’ll be having people request you host more. Drink responsibly, sit back and relax as you watch your guests delve into your delicious offerings!