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chateau de parenchereHow to Pair Great Wines with Delicious Food
dinner party with wine

How to Pair Great Wines with Delicious Food

Wine and food make for an excellent evening, especially if your nearest and dearest are involved. If you have spent hours, or maybe even days preparing a special meal, it would be crazy not to put some effort into choosing the wine. With that in mind, we’re not advocating stressing and worrying about it because a lot of wine & food pairings are down to the individual choice. You can be adventurous and daring with your pairing, but fabulous cooking should be accompanied by delicious wines complementing and accentuating the meal. So take the time to consider your options. We promise it will be worth it. 

So how do you pick the right wines for the food you’re preparing? Is it OK to choose just one wine for dinner or lunch, or does having different courses suggest not? And are there any fundamental rules to follow? Here’s what we know. 

Pairing food and wine is all about balance. Consider flavours, body, and alcohol. The Wine Society summarised this rather brilliantly,

“Think of wine as a sauce.” 

This petite statement makes perfect sense! The wine you drink is there to match, complement, and bring our flavours in the chosen ingredients. For example, most of us wouldn’t dream of drizzling a heavy meaty gravy over a delicate white fish fillet. The sauce would overpower the fish, leaving guests confused and probably sad. 

They continue, “try matching full-bodied wines with relatively high alcohol to full-flavoured dishes; lighter, less alcoholic styles suit more subtle flavours.”

The Wine Folly, another excellent wine blog, has wine and food pairing tips, most of which we agree with. 

  1. The wine should be more acidic than the food.
  2. The wine should be sweeter than the food.
  3. The wine should have the same flavour intensity as the food.
  4. Red wines pair best with boldly flavoured meats (e.g. red meat).
  5. White wines pair best with light-intensity meats (e.g. fish or chicken).
  6. Bitter wines (e.g. red wines) are best balanced with fat.

One thing we know for sure is that wine offers three of the six or seven taste profiles. For example, white and sparkling wines offer acidity, red wines offer bitterness, and sweet wine offers sweetness. These flavour profiles are a great way to start your food and wine pairing. So what wine works best with what foods? 

Meat Dishes

Flavoursome meats, such as red meat or game, usually have a higher fat content, which is more creamy and rich. The ideal wine for a meaty dish would contain acidity and bitterness from the tannins, such as our Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge. The red wine is a traditional blend of Merlot which offers fruitiness and roundness, Cabernet Sauvignon for structure and tannic density, Cabernet Franc for aromatic finesse and a hint of Malbec for colour and spicy character. The Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge is fleshy, with a very deeply coloured robe. Characterised with a good balance between fruit and tannin, it displays distinct red fruit aromas with a long, sustained finish and is perfect with rich dishes including roasted, barbequed and grilled red meats, offal, and cheese-based sauces.

Seafood Dishes

Seafood dishes require a lighter hand with wine pairing, even though seafood dishes can be bold in flavour and aroma. Using garlic, herbs and citrus when cooking fish and seafood creates an opportunity for a complimentary, crisp white wine. Our Bordeaux Blanc-Sec offers intense white and citrus fruit aroma and a round freshness. The white wine is a perfect blend of Sauvignon for aroma and freshness, Sémillon, which offers fleshiness in the mouth, and Muscadelle, which offers aromatic and sustained notes of white flowers – ideal with fish and seafood. 

Vegetarian Dishes

So many excellent vegetarian dishes take on a plethora of flavour profiles, meaning that the ‘rules’ of food and wine pairing are less straightforward to define. If the recipe is rich, light and crisp, acidic or butter-rich, it will all hang on the choice of wine. Our La Roseraie Bordeaux Rosé could be the ideal accompaniment to any meat-free dish because its light and subtle qualities offer excellent freshness. The rose petal-coloured wine looks beautifully pale and has floral aromas of hawthorn, lychee and rose that work so well with creamy dishes, cheese, BBQ-ed vegetables, salads and anything with strawberries.

Sweet Dishes

Sweet dishes, desserts and puddings require a sweeter wine to create harmony. Taking key ingredients such as chocolate, cream or fruit to the next level will hand on the choice of dessert wines. If you’re making a tangy dessert that is not too sweet, we highly recommend Rosette Château du Rooy 2020 – a beautiful, sweet wine with mellow pale-yellow tones with floral and white peach aromas. It’s a surprising wine that is subtle and fresh on the palate. It is a perfect dessert wine but can also successfully be served as an aperitif.

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