Red, white, rosé, champagne, sparkling... There are so many choices, that it’s often difficult to know what to choose to accompany a meal. Here are easy tips to help you for your Christmas dinner, or any other occasion.
1. No sweet wines as an aperitif
Wines that are rich in sugar or alcohol will crush the taste buds. They saturate the palate, unlike white wine, champagne and other sparkling wines.
2. White wine or champagne with oysters
Pairing white wine or champagne with oysters is one of the most natural and easy-to-make pairing. For a white wine, choose a Chablis or a Muscadet.
3. Rise in boldness during the meal
Ideally, start with a white wine as a starter, then continue with a full-bodied red wine to accompany the main course. For dessert, prefer a sweet wine like Sauternes, that is richer in sugars. Adapt this rule according to your guests preferences, and to the dishes served at each moment of the meal.
4. Watch out for spicy dishes pairings
If the spices are very present in the dish, they will tend to overwhelm the palate. It will be difficult for a wine to express itself in the mouth. However there are great pairings, for example, curry goes very well with Gewürztraminer.
5. White wine or aged red wine with fish
White wine and fish are made to be paired together. If some of your guests don’t like white wine, red wine can be a good choice, unless it’s still young.
6. White wine with cheese
Preconceived ideas are hard to break. One of them dictates that you have to serve red wine with cheese. This is a cliché since the white wines are the ones that pair the best with cheese. You can also try champagne with goat cheese, or beer with nutty, aged cheeses like Gouda
7. Champagne for dessert: bad idea!
It’s a habit, especially during holidays to finish the meal with champagne. But it’s a big mistake: the palate will be destabilised if you served red wine with the main course. The solution: serve champagne with every course, or don’t go from red to champagne!
8. Sweet wine with chocolate
Chocolate recipes such as mousse or cake pair perfectly with a sweet wine like Moscato, or Port. If you want to serve champagne, note that its taste will be overpowered by the chocolate’s sweetness.
9. Follow your instincts and taste
In order to pair food and wine successfully, you first have to choose wines that you like. Don’t hesitate to follow your preferences!