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Winter Wine Pairing Basics

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

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If you want to have a wonderful winter dinner party this season, having the right wine to go with your meal could make or break your event. Seasonal wine pairings are important for anyone that’s into food, and while there aren’t any written rules to help you, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.

When pairing wines with seasonal foods, you have to take into account the current culinary trends, weather, and comfort. For example, sitting down to enjoy a hearty beef stew in January sounds great, right? Now imagine eating that same dish when it’s 95 degrees and humid outside in August. Whole different ball game. The same goes for wines.

Today we’re giving you the secrets on how to pair the best wines with your favorite types of winter meals. Do you need Raleigh caterers for your next big event? Call Catering by Design today! You’ll love our food and prices.

Pairing Winter Meals with the Right Wines

Match the Complexity of the Menu

Winter months are known for complex foods that can oftentimes be very heavy, rich, thick, and fatty. There might also be lots of sauces, spices, and broths to make sure every bite is packed with flavor. If you’re having a bold and robust meal, serve a bold and robust tasting wine. See our sauce guide below.

Pair with the Sauces

Pair the wine you’re serving with the sauce. Here’s an example for winter meals. If you’re having pasta, or an Italian dish with a heavy cream or mushroom sauce, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are ideal. For red meat sauces, a Merlot, Cabernet or Syrah should be your choice.

If there is no sauce, simply pair the wine with the protein. For instance, a Pinot Noir tastes great with duck.

Ease Into the Reds

As mentioned above, winter meals tend to be very complex, and heavily spiced and sauced. These full bodied meals tend to scream out for red wines. However, if you’re new to reds then you might not want dive in head first. Start with out with a medium red and work your way up. Experiment with the ages, and oak aging as well, to find something that you like.

Regardless of your experience with red wines, you can always count on these to warm you up on a bitter cold winter night.

Learn to Read Tannins

Tannins are the astringent drying agents found mostly in red wines. Tannins can be soft and supple, or thick and dramatic. When trying red wines, keep these taste sensations in mind when selecting your next bottle. For food pairing, highly tannic wines should be used instead of reds with supple tannins. Supple tannic wines are perfect to be enjoyed by themselves.

Hopefully these tips will help you pair the best wines with your winter meals this year. For the best catering services in NC, continue reading to see how we can help you!

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