The first thing we usually think about when we are asked to make a pairing menu is that white wine should go with fish and red wine with meat. But is it really that easy?
Today I am going to give you some guidelines as a husband when I have a lunch or dinner so that you take it into account for the upcoming holidays.
Let’s start by talking a little about the history of how this art began. Around the 13th century, a European king decided to start classifying wines based on their origin. Since then, and over the years, what began as a treat has become something essential at any lunch or dinner. In fact, a new position was born, the sommelier.
The sommelier is the person in charge in restaurants of advising customers with the wine that best matches the dishes that have been ordered. A very important figure and with very high knowledge.
Within the category of wines, there is also the figure of the oenologist. This is in charge of tasting and supervising from the process of creating the wine, storage to its final result.
And now yes, how to pair my lunch or dinner?
To begin with, when we think about pairing, we must not only take into account the dish but the entire menu. It depends a lot on the ingredients that we are going to use and in the end it is important to know that this is not an exact rule and that it is about discovering and enjoying what we like the most.
It is important to keep in mind when pairing that we will not only take into account the dish, but also the textures, aromas and flavors. In addition, when selecting the wine for a dish, we can do it in two ways: by contrast or by complementation.
Contrasts or complementation?
We must bear in mind that this depends a lot on the taste of each one when it comes to drinking wine. That’s why if you decide to do it one way or the other, it will be done properly. Now, what are the differences?
Contrast: When making a pairing based on contrast, we look for the taste of the wine to have nothing to do with the dish we are eating. In this way it creates an explosion of flavors that even come to confront each other.
Complementation: Unlike the first option, with this way of pairing we seek to create a synergy between the dish and the wine. A wine that contains the same aromas or flavors that the dish already contains. Somehow both food and wine will shake hands. The flavors tend to be much softer and accompanied.
Surely you have never thought of a menu in which meat or fish come first and soup or canapés second. In the same way, we should never put a full-bodied wine with the first course. We will advance in body and add as the dishes progress. With this, in addition to getting used to our body and palate, we follow the path of the menu in line with the dishes themselves.
What wine do I use with each dish?
For starters or light dishes we can or should pair with white and young wines, such as: Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Les Champs Gains’. This wine is one of the ones I use the most when pairing with appetizers or canapés.. Depending on the type of fish, this can go with a more bodied white wine, or barrel-aged. This could be the Barrel Fermented Enate Chardonnay 2018.While for game meat or main dishes with a spoon we can use Gran Reserva wines such as the Marchese Antinori Riserva 2018 Chianti Classico “Antinori – Tenuta Tignanello” wine.
Your intuition will be the best pairing
There are many more things that you can take into account when pairing. For example, if the dish is served cold or hot, if the sauce that it is accompanied with is more or less consistent, but what is certain is that you have to be guided by your own intuition. That never fails.
That is why if you are passionate about wine, you should start with something as simple as opening a bottle and trying it with different foods. The pairing is different for each person because something as wonderful as memory and sensory aspects are involved. What for you may seem rough, for others it is soft and delicate because the aromas it contains when joining the liquid with the solid food in the mouth reminds him of something wonderful from his childhood.
That is why it is so important to innovate, try and find the aromas and flavors that you like the most. Either as we’ve talked about before, complementing or contrasting the flavors.
At Delle Vedove Chef we are very used to pairing our lunches and dinners and that is why we have the help of sommeliers, we go to tastings to try new wines, vintages and combinations.
And based on the tastes of our clients, we enhance the flavor of the meals with one wine and another following the basic rules that we have told you about before, but always, with our intuition above these.
If you still don’t have it clear and you want others to take care of your dinners this Christmas, don’t forget to count on me and I’ll be happy to help you.
Do you want to know how wine lists are created in restaurants? You can take a look at this article. https://thehotelsmaker.com/post/neuromarketing-restaurante/