Food and wine pairing is not rocket science. In the end, it’s all about pleasure. It’s a matter of finding the right combination between a wine and a dish that make both sing out in harmony. The wine that makes you want another bite, the dish that makes you want another sip.
As wine lovers, we often know which wine we want to drink, and then look for the right dish to showcase the wine. Here are some tips to help you along. The simplest method is to look for an affinity between the characteristics of the wine and the dish. Look for matches in aroma and flavor components, palate weight, and acidity levels. For example.
This bright and refreshing young wine exudes freshness and demands the same in the foods that accompany it. Match the wine’s citrus and herbal characteristics with light, acidic foods such as ceviche, green salads, goat cheese, and shrimp.
This golden-yellow and medium-bodied white wine features moderate acidity and rich aromas and flavors of tropical and stone fruit when unoaked. When barrel-aged, it takes on additional oaky notes that may include vanilla, coconut, honey, and butter. Pair this wine with full-bodied fish, poultry, corn-based dishes, creamy sauces.
Light, bright, juicy, and spicy. This delightful variety features aromas of apples and pears, along with floral notes, and even petroleum, resulting in an enchanting wine that makes a refreshing aperitif and the perfect partner to spicy food such as Peruvian, Mexican, and particularly Indian food. It’s also a classic for German-style pork with apples or sausages with saurkraut.
The distinctive, tell-tale aroma of apricots and peaches is often complemented with orange blossom and honey on this medium- to big-bodied white wine. Keep that body in mind and pair it with rich-textured dishes such as cream-based soups such as a lobster bisque, smoked oysters, chicken stewed with dried peaches, or duck breast with a bit of orange peel and ginger in the sauce.
Characteristics include rich blackberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, plum, and black currant (cassis) may be complemented by mint, black tea, tobacco, cedar, chocolate, leather, and truffle. Medium-bodied to robust, with pronounced tannins on the palate. There’s a Chilean Cabernet for almost every type of food. Simple versions are great with pizza and burgers, while mid-range Cabs are perfect for barbecues and red meats in general. The finest, most complex Cabs are sheer delights that call for exquisite, simply prepared red meats such as beef or lamb.
Chile’s darling is remarkably food-friendly. Deep and dark in color, with expressive aromas of blackberries, black pepper, herbs, and roasted red pepper. The palate is fruity and rich, with mild tannins. It pairs very well with most meats, grilled chicken, p’atés, and well-seasoned dishes. A true delight with blood sausage.
Deep, dark purple color with aromas and flavors of blackberries, cherries, plums, bacon, and black pepper are typical in this smooth-bodied, soft-tannined charmer. Grilled lamb and beef are sure-fire pairings, but be a bit more daring with well-seasoned dishes such as steak au poivre or chicken mole.
Juicy ripe fruit and soft tannins make this variety a world-wide favorite. Red and black berry fruit, cherries, and plums predominate and may be accompanied by black tea, chocolate, vanilla, and oaky flavors. This is a versatile wine with food that goes well with full-flavored fish, roasted chicken, duck, pork, veal, and Mexican food. Perfect with the typical Chilean pastel de choclo (corn-topped meat pie).
This light-weight red with bright acidity features aromas and flavors that range from raspberry and black cherry to violets and loamy earthy notes such as mushrooms. Serve simpler versions lightly chilled as an aperitif and with fish or poultry. More complex versions pair delightfully with mushroom dishes such as risotto, lentils, duck, and tuna.