Most people will tell you that when it comes to pairing wine with food, the rule of thumb is white with chicken or fish, and red with red meat. And that is mostly true, but you should also consider the weight of what you’re eating…
Heavy food needs a wine that’s equally as heavy or full-bodied to stand up to it. The same goes for lighter fare, which can be easily overpowered by a wine that is too robust.
Imagine a chicken prepared in a spicy, rich mole sauce. A topping this flavorful and tangy might overpower the taste of a light Pinot Grigio, which means you should pair this type of dish with a light-bodied red, like a Rioja. On the flip side, some beef dishes can be really light. I had some Vietnamese beef just yesterday that was so light and citrusy, that I paired it with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
If you’ve been asked to bring a bottle of wine or two to dinner, and you don’t know what will be served, I’d suggest a nice white Sancerre. They’re generally crisp, semi-dry, and medium-bodied. They’re made with the Sauvignon Blanc grapes, so a Sauvignon Blanc would also work. Or, for red, try a Pinot Noir. Another medium-bodied option, it has interesting notes of raspberries or cherries.
During those times when you’re the one hosting, keep in mind that red wine should always be served in a glass with a large bowl so that it properly aerates; white wine should be served chilled in a glass with a smaller bowl. Always choose clear glasses and hold the glass by the stem (like me, in the video below).
If you ask me, wine is one of life’s great joys. Now that you know how to en-joy it, share your new knowledge over a glass with your fabulous friends and family. And, if you need some help on what to wear to said event, hey, #HelpMeClinton that, too!