5 Rules for Pairing Wine and Meat
Choosing the proper wine and meat pairings can make any meal that much more delicious and memorable. The flavor combinations of wine and meat that are most pleasing to the palate add a layer of sophistication to your meal, which can impress your dinner guest or date. Even if you are dining solo, knowing which meats and wines to pair together will give you a boost of confidence and another tool in your box of culinary knowledge. Check out the following simple rules for knowing exactly how to select the appropriate pairing of meat and wine for your next meal to remember.
1. Pairing Red Wine with Red Meat
It is an old rule that red wine is supposed to always be paired with red meat. What has been surprising some traditional chefs is that there are now some valid exceptions to that rule. This is excellent news for those who enjoy white wine with a meal or even a good craft beer. The general rule of thumb is that if you would like to enjoy white wine with red meat, the meat should be cooked for longer so that it is not as rare and bloody. The rates the red meat is cooked, the better it will likely pair with red wine.
If you enjoy a sweeter version of red wine, you can try pairing it with a smaller portion of meat. Bolder red wines are best with thicker cuts of meat that are cooked for less time at a higher temperature. The marinade on the meat also makes a difference in what type of red wine works best. A sweet marinade lends itself to going with a sweeter red wine.
2. Pairing Seafood with White Wine
This is a simple rule to remember because seafood is typically white. Seafood is typically less filling and sits lighter than red meat, which is why it goes so well with a white wine. Many people also enjoy a sparkling wine with a seafood meal. If the sauce or glaze on your seafood dish is thicker or bold, then you might be able to get away with drinking a red wine. If you are enjoying a combination meal of red meat and seafood, this is another good opportunity to try a red wine if that is what you prefer drinking over white wine.
3. Transition from Bold to Sweet Wine as the Meal Progresses
If you are able to enjoy more than one glass of wine, consider transitioning from bolder blends at the beginning of the meal to a lighter, sweeter option at the end of the meal. This is especially true if you are going to enjoy a delicious dessert at the end of your meal. This rule applies whether you are drinking red wine or white wine.
4. Red Wine Works with Burgers
There is a common misconception that burgers are supposed to be eaten with beers. While beer is always a good choice to go with a burger on the grill, it does not have to be the only option for you. This summer season will be packed with grilling opportunities to try out some delicious combinations of grilled burgers with red wine. If you enjoy cheddar cheese on your grilled burger, this is all the more reason to go with a tasty red wine. The burger bun helps with the fuller theme of this meal and makes red wine a more sensible choice without having to worry as much as you otherwise might about the strength of the red blend. If you decide to go with a turkey burger, this might be a nice way to sneak in a white wine option, especially if you choose a white cheese and smaller burger bun.
5. White Wine is Best with Chicken and Other Poultry
For the same reasons why white wine tends to be a hit with most seafood dishes, it is also a good choice for chicken. The exception to this rule would be if the chicken is cooked or grilled in a special sauce or marinade that is bolder or has more of a fruit base. If the chicken is in a white sauce, white wine is best.