Food Pairings

Pairing is not an arcane science. It is simply the decision of which wine will bring out the best in a given food, and which food will bring out the best in a given wine, all based on how you personally enjoy both. Think of a comparison in the non-wine world. Few people would eat a delicate, paper-thin pastry shell with thick beef stew, garlic bread and baked potatoes. The pastry would simply "melt into the background" and be overwhelmed with the other flavors. The same holds true for wine. You don't want the food to completely overpower the wine, so you cannot taste it at all. Conversely, you don't want the wine to be so strong that you can't taste the meal. Some sort of balance lies in the middle.

Wine and Cheese Pairings

One very typical wine-food pairing is Cheese, and many wine parties have cheese as the main snack. Why is this? There are so many varieties of cheeses that there is one that goes well with any type of wine you might try.
Cheese tends to make a wine taste better, too. It "smoothes out" the wine and brings out what is best in both. Both wine and cheese are natural products, something created with care and aged to perfection.
In most cases a red wine goes well with hard cheese, while white wines go well with softer cheeses, but again this comes down to your own personal tastes and what combinations of flavors you enjoy. To get you started, this Wine & Cheese Pairing Chart shows which partners most people think work well.

Wine and Steak Pairings

Pairing wine with food is all about finding one of the four basic tastes -- sweet, salty, sour or bitter -- in a dish and finding a wine that fits with it, either by having similar qualities or by contrasting them properly. Red wine is commonly paired with beef, and for a good reason. Cabernet sauvignon, for example, is a very bold wine with flavors of black currant, plum, cherry and spice. The boldness of the cabernet pairs perfectly with rich, dark meats.
For a winning pairing, try a flavorful cabernet with some braised beef short ribs and grilled vegetables. In fact, you can even use cabernet in your short rib recipe for the ultimate pairing experience. If you're not a fan of the cabernet sauvignon, you might also try a merlot or pinot noir with your beef dish.

Beer and Food Pairings

Pairing spirits with food isn't limited to wine. There's also a movement in which great chefs are pairing some of their menu items with micro-brewed beers. Much like wine, craft beers are often known for their complex and bold flavors. The craft brewers use everything from fruit to chocolate and coffee in their recipes, and these flavors can match well with the right food.
Almost any kind of ale, from ambers to porters, is great with most beef recipes. Pilsners and lagers are typically paired with pork and poultry. A wide range, from light pilsners to wheat beers and even dark stouts, can be paired with seafood.

Wine and Desert Pairings

How about for dessert? While Ice Wine goes well with fruit pastries, chocolate is the typical "difficult to match" dessert. To please wine lovers of all stripes, you can choose a white riesling, cabernet, or port.

Food Pairing Recommendations

Wine and Cheese :

Enter selection of wines and images here, here, and here.

Wine and Steak :

Enter selection of wines and images here, here, and here.

Beer and Food

Enter selection of beers and images here, here, and here.

Wine and Desert

Enter selection of wines and images here, here, and here.

Proudly Serving Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Tylerville, Goodspeed Village, & the Connecticut River Valley

© 2011 Tony's Package Store and Hayden Wine and Spirits

Web Design CT and Web Hosting CT by