If you are having guests over for dinner or want to add something special to your meal, red wine can bring out the best flavors in food. It can be intimidating to shop for red wine: there are so many different types and vineyards that it can be hard to know what is best. Here is a quick guide to shopping for red wine and pairing it with the right foods.
What foods pair with red wine?
The most common food paired with red wine is red meat: steaks, lamb, pork, etc. It also pairs well with pastas, especially those that have a red tomato sauce. Generally red wine should pair with foods that have stronger flavors, while white wine is more suitable for delicate flavors like seafood or salads.
If you drink white wine with a strongly-flavored food, the food will overwhelm the taste of the wine. Similarly, if you drink red wine with delicately-flavored food, the wine will overpower the food’s flavors.
Ultimately, pairing wine with food is a matter of personal preference. There is no wrong way to drink wine — have fun finding your own personal preferences for wine and food pairing!
Types of Red Wine
The most popular brand of red wine in America is Merlot, which has a soft flavor that complements most foods. It is a good choice for someone who wants to drink red wine but may not know exactly what type they like best.
Syrah — also called Shiraz — has bolder flavors and pairs well with meats. It has above-average acidity which helps it dissolve fatty particles from meat, leading to a more complex taste.
Cabernet sauvignon pairs well with red meats that are not heavily spiced. This may be a better choice than Syrah for grilled steaks without heavy seasoning.
Pinot noir is a great choice for red wine lovers eating foods that usually pair with white wines, like chicken or seafood. It has a delicate flavor that will not overwhelm simple flavors.
The most important rule…
Have fun drinking red wine! The best way to learn what you like is to buy different wines and try pairing them with foods you like. Ask friends to bring their favorites to a dinner or tasting party. No matter how you pair wines, the easiest way to explore your tastes is to drink more wine. Enjoy!