Imagine yourself being in the following scenario. It is your birthday, and you have a little bit of cash to spend. You want to treat yourself to a fancy dinner and a gourmet restaurant. You skim through the menu, and you find all of the classics that you enjoy – after all, we are all well acquainted with the types of food that we enjoy no matter the price range.
You order the house red wine from the menu because you are feeling fancy. The waiter nods his head in approval. But then you also order the Baked Chilean Sea Bass. The waiter is taken aback at the sheer audacity of your pairing decision, and you are bewildered and left asking yourself what you could have possibly done wrong.
Not to worry — pairing red wine with the right food can take a little bit of practice. After all, certain wines are meant to bring out your food flavor, but it has to be the right kind of food. Here is a basic guide on making the best out of your dinner and finding the best red wine for your favorite food.
Burgers are not often associated with wine. Whenever you choose to pair a burger with wine can be a very delicious choice, though because a burger is so rich in fat and flavors, it would be a tremendous shame not to use good red wine to bring out the flavors.
When you have a burger with a smaller patty and a more generous portion of vegetables, you would want a lighter red wine like a Côte de Beaune. A burger that is greasier and with a thicker patty would call for a Brunello di Montalcino.
When choosing the ideal red wine for a steak, it is important to pay attention to the cut you are eating. When you want to drink a stronger red wine, there is one all-encompassing element you want out of your steak – fat. A cut of beef that has more fat in it will really shine in flavor when you pair it with a stronger wine. Conversely, the cleaner the cut and the better it will go with a lighter red wine.
A Malbec paired with a New York Strip or a Filet Mignon paired with a nice Cabernet is always a safe bet.
For those of you who are big pasta lovers, and let’s be honest – that is probably most of us; pairing with red wine is definitely tricker, but when done right, you will unlock a level of flavor in your pasta dish that you could not have even imagined.
A pasta dish with more cheese, such as Cacio e Pepe, would go great with a wine that does not have an overpowering smell, such as a Sangiovese. A pasta dish with a heavier concentration of vegetables would go phenomenally with a red Chardonnay.
Now that you have read this guide, it is time to revisit our earlier hypothetical scenario. It is your birthday, and you are out with a fancy meal. You sit down, and after a short glance at the menu, you order a delicious prime rib.
The waiter asks if you want to pair your meal with wine once again, and immediately you know to pair it with a Zinfandel. The waiter is impressed and finishes writing down your order. Not only were you able to demonstrate your acuity and sophistication – but the rest of your evening will also be undoubtedly filled with the most delectable culinary experience you have ever had.