The food and wine pairing can play an important role in the success of your dinner. A well-chosen wine can enhance your meat dish and its flavours, while a hasty choice can completely spoil the balance of your meal. So, to impress your guests and avoid any faux pas, follow our guide!
Some general rules
There are many different types of wine out there: white, red, grey, orange, rosé, organic and even natural. Choosing the one that will best pair with your dish is no simple task.
As a general rule, it is said that the colour of your meat determines the colour of the wine that should accompany it. By that logic, a red wine would best pair with red meat and a white wine with white meat. While this theory applies in most cases, other factors must be taken into account to ensure you’re making the best choice and delighting your guests’ taste buds.
More generally, balance is the key to a perfect meat and wine pairing. If your dish is intense in flavour, the wine you choose should be up to the task so that neither one masks the aromas of the other. For a milder meat, you can turn to lighter wines.
If you are more of a connoisseur, you can also play around with flavours and match the main characteristic of the wine with that of your dish. For example, if you’re serving pork with a delicious apple sauce, you can turn to wines with fruity notes. So, in addition to the type of meat, you should take into account not only the seasoning but also the cooking to determine the type of wine you want to serve at your table.
Enhancing a beautiful cut of beef
Red wine is the go-to for pairing with a fine cut of beef.
For rare beef, we favour full-bodied and tannic wines. Tannins are the molecules contained within the skin and seeds of the grape. A tannic wine tends to be a little rougher on the tongue and palate, a sensation that’s softened by contact with the meat. For a perfect outcome, tannins must be more subtle to guarantee the harmony of the dish.
If you choose to cook meat in sauce, you can safely go for a more full-bodied wine. This term is used to describe a wine that is more balanced in taste, more unctuous but also more intense in alcohol.
Roast beef is a perfect match for spicier wines.
Pairing wine with pork chops
Pork is best paired with less full-bodied wines.
Since pork is a rather fatty meat, you should ideally select a wine that will bring some balance to your dish. We tend to favour bright wines with a certain acidity to cut through the fat. The freshness tends to counterbalance the heaviness that the fat can bring to the dish.
If you’d rather go for a red wine, choose a round, rather light variety, so that its tannins do not overpower the meat.
Chicken and its many possibilities
Chicken can be served with both white and red wine, but the way it is cooked will play an important role in making that decision.
When cooking a dish in sauce, it is preferable to choose a wine with character and power, whether red or white. It won’t be overshadowed by the richness of the dish but will rather complement it perfectly.
When it comes to roast chicken, a dry white wine is the perfect choice. Its fruity and acidic notes will help bring life to your dish.
Ultimately, you don’t have to follow these recommendations. If you’ve just bought a nice bottle of white wine that you’re dying to open but you already have a nice cut of beef you plan to cook, go for it! Just remember that wine is meant to enhance your dish and it would be a shame if it washed out its flavours instead. Although, once again ¬– it’s your meal, all that matters is that you enjoy it!