The Ultimate Guide to Red Wine and Food Pairing

Red Wine and Food Pairings

If you've heard rumours that red wine has a lot of different health benefits, believe them. Studies show that red wine can improve your mood and sharpen your mind. More importantly, it may be able to protect against heart problems and inflammation.

There's no time to have a glass of wine than with your dinner each night, but what red wine food pairing options go well together? That's what we're going to talk about here today. Read on to learn the best ways to enjoy your favourite wines in a way that complements the dishes you love!

The Basics of Red Wine Food Pairing

When pairing red wine with your favourite snacks and meals, there are a few things you must remember. First, the wine should always be both sweeter and more acidic than the dish that you're serving it with. If this isn't the case, both the wine and the food will neutralise the flavour of the other and the tastes won't balance out.

When you buy wine, make sure that you're pairing your wine with any sauces that come with your meal. Even if you have one of the boldest meats around that would usually pair best with a dry wine, you will want to get a sweeter wine to match the sauce covering your side of pasta.

Finally, understand that red wines will generally create congruent pairings. This means that the food and wine that you choose to pair will share multiple compounds or flavors with one another. Sweet wines will be paired with sweet dishes, dry wines will be paired with heavy dishes, and so on.

French Wine and Cheese: An Absolute Must

While you may have heard that cheeses pair with white wine more often than red, this isn't always the case. There are some delicious and heavy cheeses out there that are perfect for drinking with imported or gourmet cheeses. To create these pairings, simply remember the rules of sweetness and acidity.

Here are some of the best red wine/cheese pairings out there:

  • Port + blue cheese, where the full-bodied richness of the wine complements the richness and crumbling texture of the cheese
  • Any fruity red wine + brie, where the sweetness of the wine brings out the creaminess of the cheese
  • Cabernet Sauvignon + aged gouda, where the tannic and boldness of the wine bring out the nutty undertones in the cheese
  • Rioja + Manchego cheese, the sweet wine and sweet cheese that create a sweet Spanish treat
  • Malbec + aged cheddar, where the sweet chocolatey taste of the wine balances out the smoky flavours in the cheese

If you have other favourite wines and cheeses that aren't on this list, have fun experimenting a little bit! Try out different combinations until you find the perfect pairing for your palate. 

Pairing Wine and Tasty Meals

Now that you know how to pair wine with cheese as an appetizer, it's time to talk about the main course. Generally, red wine should be paired with bolder foods that have a lot of flavors that red wine can bring to the forefront of your palate. Read more to learn some of the best examples!

Red Wine + Meat Pairings

Meat makes up a large portion of many people's dinner plates. You will want to pair red wine with more boldly-flavoured and heavier meats, like steak, pork chops, or beef. If you're eating fish or poultry, white wine might be the superior alternative during that meal.

This is partly because bitter wines (like reds) are best complemented by fattier foods, and red meat generally offers a lot of (healthy) fats. Whether you like your steak rare or well-done, a glass of fruity red wine is a great way to offset its strong flavour.

Gourmet Burgers and Fruity Notes

Speaking of fruity wines, one of the best meals that you can pair with them is a gourmet burger. Simply mix cheese into ground beef and grill them to perfection. Serve this dish with delicious salty fries and a glass of raspberry or cherry-flavoured wine.

Xinomavro Wine and Pasta Dishes

If you want something a little lighter, try some this Xinomavro with tomato-basil spaghetti sauce. Since this wine is made from fruits, tomatoes, and dried oregano, it makes sense that it would be paired with a sauce made from similar ingredients. For some added fun, try making your pasta fom scratch!

Can Red Wine Go With Dessert?

Red wine absolutely can be enjoyed with dessert. Dark chocolate is generally a good choice for drinking with wine since the tannins in it complete the bitter undertones of dark chocolate. Additionally, because dark chocolate isn't as sweet as its milk and white counterparts, fruity wine tastes comparatively sweeter. You will be better able to taste each fruity note when you eat a midnight chocolate cake or decadent square alongside your favourite beverage.

Some people also like to pair red wine with fruity desserts. If you choose to do this, dry reds tend to be the best choice. You don't want something sweet or fruity that is too close to the sweetness of a blackberry cobbler or piece of warm blueberry bread.

You can also make desert wine which is an interesting and novel thing to try if you haven't yet! Higher-quality wine is the best option for baking since it lends a fuller flavour to your pastries and offsets the sweetness in them well.

Buy Delicious Wine Online!

While red wine is delicious by itself, there's nothing quite like pairing it with a snack or meal that brings out the delicious undertones hiding in its full-bodied flavour.

Now that you know how to create red wine food pairings that really pack a punch, it's time to get started! Shop for high-quality wine to get the perfect flavours to pair with your favourite dishes. If you're not sure of what to get, our experts are happy to help you make a decision and find the best reds to go with the foods you love best.

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