How to Pair Wine with Meals

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 26, 2016)

Many people believe that there are all kinds of drawn out, and sometimes complicated, rules that deal with how to pair wine with meals. While basically this is true, there are four simple guidelines that you can use to help you learn the basics. Using these four guidelines will help you ensure a respectable pairing of wine to meals, and will help you to truly impress your friends and family the next time you get together for a formal meal.

  • Balance the flavors. The main goal, or idea, of leaning how to pair wine with meals is balance. There should be a balance between the flavors of the wine, and the meal itself. Simply put, the flavor of the wine should never overpower the flavor of the food, and the converse of this rule is true as well. The tastes of the food and wine should compliment each other, and improve upon each other.
  • Quality with quality. It isn't always easy to figure out the type of wine that should go with a particular meal. When trying to decide on which wine to take to a particular meal, keep in mind that quality should go with quality. What this means is that you should never serve a wine that you may eat with some burgers when you are having a three course French meal. Remember, like goes with like.
  • Start light and work up. If you will be having a meal that has several courses, and where several wines may be served, start with the lighter tastes and work your way up. Think of this as building a foundation for a building or a house. Simply put, you want a light wine with light food, and heavier wine with heavier foods. For example, during your salad or soup course you will want to have a light wine, whereas with the main dish you will want to have a richer, heartier, heavier wine.
  • How is the food made? The way that the food is prepared can actually play a role in what wine you should choose to serve. For example, when serving a delicately prepared food (such as poached salmon) then you want to pair it with a delicate flavored wine. When serving foods that are prepared by brasing, grilling, or roasting methods, then you want to use a wine that has a fuller and more flavorful taste. In cases such as this, you should try to pair the flavor of the wine to the main ingredient or taste of the dish.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Growing Award Winning Tomatoes

If you are interested in having some great vegetables in your garden, why not go all out? Growing award winning tomatoes ...

Discover More

Cleaning Stained Auto Glass

Over time auto glass has a tendency to become stained and etched, which makes it more difficult to see out of. If auto ...

Discover More

Understanding Wallboard Finishing Levels

If you are thinking of having any type of wall work done in your home, then it is a good idea to understand the basics. ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Opening Champagne Properly

Opening bottles of champagne properly can be a little difficult, until you learn how to do it properly. In order to begin ...

Discover More

Storing Wine

Like many things in the culinary world, the way that you store your wine can greatly affect its overall taste. If you ...

Discover More

Wine Gifts

Wine can be a great gift to give to someone on a special occasion. You might also give accessories and other items ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)