Red wine with meat; white wine with fish or fowl.
Through the years, this simple and basic tenet of food pairing has safely guided the uninitiated on what wine to order for a specific type of food. But then again, there is more to pairing than the red wine with meat, white wine with fish rule.
Wine and food pairing is almost a science. It is simply the decision about which wine will bring out the best in a given wine, all based on how your personally enjoy both. You dont want the food to completely overpower the wine so you cannot taste it at all. Conversely, you dont want the wine to be so strong that you cant taste the meal. Some sort of balance lies in the middle, explains Von Hizon, managing director of the Anderson Group Inc., distributor for Carlo Rossi Wines from California.
What is important, Hizon adds, is the quality to the wines because it is almost impossible to ruin a good meal if you have selected a good wine. At the Carlo Rossi Winery in California, standard of taste, quality and consistency are the most important. For over 60 years now, Carlo Rossi Wines are consistently light, full of fruit character and are easy to drink. Every bottle is made using grapes from California, a premier wine making region
For starters, Carlo Rossi shares some general guidelines you may find helpful when selecting a wine to enhance you meal. Filipino foods in general are rich in condiments and sauces which explains why it is difficult to pair wines with them. But Carlo Rossi California Red and White wines go well with a popular array of Filipino dishes with their smooth, light and fruity taste, allowing the palate to sense the distinct features of Filipino cuisine.
- Wine and food should have matching weights. Select light-bodied white wines for lighter food, and fuller-bodied red wines with heartier, more flavorful dishes. Carlo Rossi California White, for instance, works beautifully with the fish because you are matching light to light. Otherwise a full-bodied, heavier wine such as Carlo Rossi California Red will be good for meats, hearty roast, and food with heavy sauces.
Example of the weight of the food (in the light to heavy order) are salad, potatoes, fish, poultry, pork, steak. Match these with the weight of the wine (from light to heavy), from White Zinfandel, Sauvigon Blanc, Pinto Gris/Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, to Carbernet Sauvignon.
- Identify the dominant flavor in the food, and pair with the wine that either mirrors or complements the food. You can match like with like a sweet sparkling wine along with a sweet dessert. Or add some contrast, so the spiciness in the meat stew balances against the slightly spicy flavor or Zinfandel.
When you drink wine by itself tastes one way, but when you take a bite of food, the wines tastes different. This is because wine is like a spice. Elements in the wine interact with the food to provide a different taste sensation like these basic reactions.
Sweet foods like Italian tomato sauce, Japanese teriyaki, honey-mustard glazes make your wine seem drier so try an off-dry (slightly sweet) wine to balance the flavor (Chenin Blanc, White Zinfandel, Riesling).
High Acid Foods like salads with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, soy sauce, or fish served with a squeeze of lemon go well with wines higher in acid (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir). White Zinfandel, although not as high in acid, can provide a nice contrast to high acid foods.
Bitter and Astringent Foods like a mixed green salads of bitter greens, olives and charbroiled meats accentuate a wines bitterness. Complement it with a full-flavored forward fruity wine such as Chardonnay, Chablis, Rose. Red wines will go best with your classic grilled steak or lamb chops, as the fat in the meat will tone down the tannin (bitterness) in the wine (Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot, Zinfandel).
- Consider how the food is prepared. Is it grilled, roast, or fried, for instance, and what type of sauce or spice is used? For example, chicken with a lemon butter sauce will call for a different more delicate wine to play off the sauce than chicken glazed with all of the tomato and Italian spices, or a grilled chicken breast.