What Food Items Can Be Served With Wine?

What food items can be served with wine? You can definitely serve cheese with wine as long as you are matching the right cheese with the wine. Pairing food items with wine is just as important as having...

Pairing food items with wine is just as important as having the correct wine glass with the wine of choice. However, "eat what you like and drink what you like; it doesn't necessarily have to match every time, but traditional rules are based on centuries of experience," says Brian Hays. Hays is a chef and culinary instructor at Austin Community College and has taught at the college for nine years. Every time you open a bottle of wine and have friends or family over, you probably want to serve some type of food with it. Cheese is a natural pairing with wine, but it is not the only food item available. Another food item that is popular is fruit. "Don't limit yourself to just cheese," he says.

The rule of thumb is if you are going to get a wine from a particular region, try to get the food item from the same region because they complement each other. If you get a wine from Napa, get goat's cheese from there as well because they pair well together. "The animals are basically drinking the same water that the wine was made with and eating from the same soil area that the wine was grown in," he says.

When matching foods with wine look for the basic tastes that are present in the wine. For instance, the three main tastes of wine are sweet, acidity or bitter, says cellarnotes.net, a website dedicated to wine information. "If the match is good then each bite of food replaces the taste of the wine and each sip of wine replaces the taste of the food," the website states. "In a poor match, one is so dominant that it is all that is tasted through the meal." If a food item has sweetness to it then the wine should be sweet. If the dish has a bitter taste then the wine should as well. As several wine enthusiasts' state, consider the wine as a condiment. If you order veal, fish or shellfish, a white wine with a tart acidity pairs well. If the food has a hint of fresh lemon juice then choose a Sauvignon Blanc to pair with it. If the dish has a light butter dish then choose white Bordeaux.

Another helpful tip is to choose the wine first, then the food. Pick a wine that you love with flavors you are familiar with. The three key points to consider are: the food item being paired, the cooking method of the item and the flavors or sauces that are added. "The fundamental rule is to begin by pairing delicate wines with delicate flavors, medium bodied wines with medium weight or intensity flavors, and strongly flavored foods with wines that will stand up to their pungency," informs the Geyser Peak winery on its web site. "The point of this is to use this information to help learn how the different types of flavors pair with different wines."

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