Why wait for a special celebration or meal to enjoy a glass of wine? You can have wine with fast food such as pizza and the kind you choose will depend on what topping your pizza has. For instance, because it has a savoury flavour, Chianti is ideal to drink with pizza that has a salty meat such as prosciutto or even a peppery green topping – or combination of both.
A rule of thumb
If you are not sure which wines to pair with what foods, a good rule of thumb is to choose a delicate flavoured wine with the kind of meal that is delicately flavoured, otherwise the wine will overpower the meal. If you have a meal with a robust flavour, then you can choose a strongly flavoured wine to go with it, knowing that the two will hold their own and one will not overpower the other.
However, while similar flavours attract, there is also an attraction with opposing flavours. But it is best to keep the food flavours simple when you want to serve wine with your meal. Otherwise, a complex tasting meal will overshadow even the finest tasting wine. In this case, use a cheaper wine and save the best for a meal it will truly complement.
Don’t waste the wine
There are many wine and food pairing guides available, but what it really comes down to is your own personal taste. If you have not had much experience with choosing wine for your food, start off with one that is popular and that you like so you can drink it without having it with a meal if you want to, or if it doesn’t go with the meal you have chosen. There is no point wasting wine by throwing it out.
Once you get to know the flavours of a few wines you will be able to tell whether they go with a certain meal or not. Generally speaking, weight, flavour and intensity of the wine should also be taken into account. For instance, a rich food like beef casserole would normally need red wine, but if you choose a very light red wine it would not be as good as a full-bodied white wine for that meal.
Here are a few more hints to pair food with wine: –
- Roast lamb or beef dishes – Cabernet Sauvignon
- Tomato based dishes or chicken casserole with red wine – Barbera
- Barbeque or sausage salad – Gamay
- Dishes of game such as venison or pheasant – Grenache
- Grilled steak dishes – Malbec
- Turkey and duck – Merlot
- Christmas dinner with turkey or lamb – Pinot Noir
- Simple seafood dishes – Albarino
Wine does not need a meal to be enjoyed. Many people enjoy having a wine on its own, or with a sweet pastry snack.