Eating an exquisite, tasty dish is a real delight on its own, but what really makes the whole experience special is when you match it with the right kind of drink. Quality beverages can bring out the subtle hints of taste from your meal and make it even more enjoyable. If you're a beginner to matching your food and your drinks, then we have a few tips that will help you get all the joy from your dishes and discover a new way of eating.
Red wine is very easy to match with a lot of food, but one of the most winning combinations is a Cabernet Sauvignon paired with beef. Braised beef, or smoked ribs with a good cabernet are one of the tastiest things you can try. If you are a fan of pasta, red wine goes excellently with tomato-based sauces, and here a good Merlot can really make a difference. Pork and poultry both gain this rich taste if you pair them with Beaujolais, and for your love of chocolaty desserts go for a good Port. Since red wine can be healthy for us if taken in moderation, feel free to pair it with your favourite meals without worry.
White wine and fish is a match made in heaven, so for all you who are fond of grilled fish, pair it with a Sauvignon Blanc for an explosion of taste. White wine is very versatile, and the only thing you don't want to pair it with is beef. Shrimp, crab and lobster go well with Chenin Blanc and so will most types of appetizers. Asian food, for example, is known for its rich, spicy and incredibly diverse taste, so it can be difficult to choose the right beverage to accompany the meal. Sommeliers suggest that riesling makes a great combination with different types of Chinese food, as the sugar in wine makes a perfect match to the spiciness of some of the world's famous Mandarin recipes.
There is nothing greater than drinking beer and eating snacks. Peanuts, chips, pretzels, any of your favourite snacks will go well with beer. This drink is also perfect for greasier foods such as pizza, French fries and burgers. A famous combo is also beer and steak, and if you like spicy food, beer is the perfect way to balance out the hot taste.
Spirits seem like they are harder to pair with food due to the stronger taste and high alcohol content. This can leave a sensation of "heat" in our mouth that can overwhelm our taste buds. However, quality spirits are actually an excellent choice for food enthusiasts because they can give us very unique flavors. Bourbon's gentle, smoky taste is a great companion for barbecue, for example, and gin goes well with various kinds of fish. Cognac is excellent with shellfish, and we all know the famous Russian custom of pairing plain vodka with pickles. Brandy is always good with various desserts, especially something with chocolate, like brownies. Cocktail food pairing is even easier with dishes due to the lower alcohol content, especially with light summer meals.
With a large percentage of the population not drinking alcohol, it would be quite insane for there not to be soft drink options for those who don't like, or are abstaining from alcohol. If you can't, or don't want to drink heavy drinks, you can absolutely stick to non-alcoholic beverages. Apple and pear juice go really well with pork, for example, and if standard club soda goes with just about everything. Coke and similar fizzy drinks feel really refreshing when paired with barbecue or any heavy food.
Whether you're a real foodie or just someone who's trying to get more pleasure from eating food, trying these combinations can really help broaden your horizons. However, we are all individuals with different tastes, so experimenting and finding your own pairings is definitely encouraged.