Creating the perfect mix between wine and food can be a challenge if you are not entirely sure what you are doing. With such an array of wine and food available there are always many options to consider. When planning a dinner, choose combinations that are popular with a wide range of people. You should always ensure that the wine does not overpower the dish, and you also need to avoid flavor transferring. This occurs when a flavor is passed from the wine to a meal, as it can result in an unpleasant taste.
White Wine: When creating a wine and food combination, Chardonnay is best complimented with Veal, Salmon, grilled cheese and white sauce. You should avoid spicy foods with this drink. Gewurztraminer is ideal when matched with Pork, Chinese foods and Swiss cheese but must be avoided with light foods. Pinot Grigio is not an ideal option for Tomatoes and spicy food as this combination may create a rather unpleasant taste. Riesling is a very dry wine and perfect when teamed with Veal, Shrimp, cream sauces and Turkey. Sweet food should be avoided with Riesling and Sancerre however.
Red Wine: In a perfect world a food recommendation would be included on the back of a wine bottle. Fortunately we can give you the insiders tips to getting a wine and food combination just right. Barberra red wine is perfect with Pizza, pasta, lasagne and lemon chicken. When eating fish or tomatoes, Cabernet Sauvignon should be avoided. This wine is better suited with chocolate, roast lamb, steak and duck. Merlot is perfectly matched with grilled meats such as barbecue meat and chicken. Avoid sweet food with this wine. Pinot Noir is not well matched with spicy foods such as Indian, instead it is ideal with Salmon, tuna, lamb and duck. Shiraz is great with a meal of barbecue, peppered red meats and sausage but should be avoided with fish.
In general, wine is best served at a chilled temperature, as it is able to breathe and create the perfect mix of aromas that will delight the senses and impress your guests. Each type of wine has a glass that coordinates with it. If you do not have a cupboard full of every wineglass imaginable though, use the next closest looking glass. The reason that there are so many types of wineglasses available, is that each one is designed to emphasise the full aromas and tastes within a given type of wine. If the wine is not served in quite the right glass, all these aromas and flavors may not be fully realised.
How much to serve: Wine should be opened and served carefully, especially red wine as this may create a nasty mess if spilt on white clothing or dinner wear. Do not overfill glasses. It is best to serve a small amount of wine at first, as this will allow the remainder of the wine in the bottle to breathe. White wine should have an average serving of three ounces, spirits one ounce and red wine four or five ounces. Serving smaller servings will help the wine last longer and will allow guests to savour it over a greater length of time.
Temperature Guidelines: Normally a bottle of wine may take up to three hours before it is appropriately chilled in the refrigerator. Serving the wine at the correct temperature may be a difference of whether the wine will be ideal to drink for maximum aroma and taste, and may make or break a charming dinner experience for you and your guests. A great way to chill your wine to perfection fast and easily is to place your bottle into a bucket filled with ice and a sprinkling of salt. Push the wine into the depths of the ice to quickly chill the bottle. The more expensive the wine the warmer it can be served. White wines especially the dry sorts are best served at lower temperatures however. And, lastly heavy wines are best served at the room temperature.
Claire Calkin operates several websites offering advice to people on decorating and enhancing their homes.