“Wine is bottled poetry”. R L Stevenson said it right, for wines is one of the most sought out accompaniments with food in many cuisines.
Wine and food matching is extensively done in order to enhance the culinary experience and this practice is extremely popular in European cuisines.
Italian cuisine deserves a special mention for an Italian meal is never complete without a wine; a culture embedded deep in the Italian blood.
Their profound love for wine is intriguing and their food-wine pairings elevate the experience to newer and higher levels.
White or red?
White or red is one dilemma which wine lovers, as well as beginners, face quite often. The most interesting fact is that both red, as well as white wines, are made from basically the same grapes.
The only difference that the grape skins and seeds are peeled off before pressing and fermentation in case of white wines while the skin is left for the processing in red wines. But when calculating the health benefits, red wine is a clear winner with aid from early brain damage, cholesterol, heart ailments and so on.
Since alcohol consumption is not recommended for health maintenance, wine consumption must be limited to otherwise the same wine which was consumed for health aid would have negative effects on the consumer.
When it comes to food, wines have a different color. Plainly speaking, red wines go well with red sauces and white with white sauces.
White wines go best with lighter foods like vegetables and fish while red wines go with the more heavy ones and ones with earthy flavors.
Sparkling wines go well with almost all foods, acting as a palate cleanser. The trick lies in combining wines and foods with similar richness and texture.
One doesn’t necessarily follow the rules that white with light and red with bold; experimentation might help discover great flavor!
- Light, green and herbaceous, Sauvignon Blanc goes wonderfully with saucy and oily foods, namely oysters, pasta Alfredo etc. overly cream sauces find their mate in this white wine, cleansing the palate of the overwhelming creaminess.
- Champagne and Barbera works well with salt. Creamy risottos, pasta, shellfish, ravioli, and steak are just a few mates to these sparkling white wines.
- Pinot Grigio, a white wine which goes well with both red and white sauces is one of the most versatile white wine with its heady, strong, smooth but robust flavor. Pizza and pasta friendly, charcuterie boards, shellfish dishes, and Italian steaks all find this great wine a great accompaniment.
- Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba goes incredibly well with rich tangy red sauces. Team this red wine with almost any red pasta and pizza to have an elevated experience.
- Pinot noir is one of the best-known wines to be paired with Italian food. Lean meats, grilled pizzas, pasta with pesto sauce all team well with this red wine.
- Chianti is one diverse wine which goes well with seafood, elevating the earthly feel and at the same time, it also works wonders when teamed with foods with red sauce.
Things to avoid if you love wine
‘To err is to human’ but there are certain things which a wine lover should definitely abstain from doing.
The most important aspect lies in the proper storage and proper serving temperature of wines. Store your wines at about 13 degree Celsius or 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the optimum temperature for aging storing at cool and not-so-bright places, the wine shall be preserved and improved to higher qualities.
Decanting helps in a better influx of oxygen into the wine, thus elevating its flavor to newer heights.
Wide bowls with narrow cups make excellent bowls for wines adding more oxygen to the wine, escalating its flavor.
Not all wines get better with age, and most wines are to be consumed within one year of production.
Wines make great companions at the dining table. All you have to do is some careful experimentation and pairing and Voila! You have some great combinations to relish.