Wine Pairings for Virtually Any Menu
Worried about wine pairings for your special event dinners? Not sure what to serve with roast lamb or Asian stir fry? When it comes to hosting a dinner, many people who are cool as cucumbers with the menu planning and other event details get nervous when it comes to wine pairings. So I put out a few feelers to some folks in the know. (See also: Wine Tastings: Finding Cheap Wine That You Like)
Basic Tips for Wine Pairings
I’ve covered simple tips for buying great wine affordably before. So you should all have some start-up strategies for stocking your cellar on a budget. The purpose of this article is to provide a simple cheat sheet of ideas that will enable you to select an appropriate wine based on any type of food you are planning on serving. The folks at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts stepped up with a comprehensive list of wine pairings to assist novice party throwers with their dinner party menus.
When it comes to sweeter foods, the dining gurus at the Seaport Hotel recommended a Riesling, hands down. Reislings also pair very well with sweet-and-sour dishes, as well as fish and seafood. (I particularly like the sweet-and-sour tip since those hosting vegetarians could whip up a tofu stir fry and have a suitable wine pairing for the event.)
Gewürztraminer was the recommended wine of choice for any aromatic savory dish. This wine loves the company of anything smoky/gingerish and does not get overpowered while in the presence of cinnamon. However, when serving Gewürztraminer, they recommend you stay away from capsaicin-based food.
Pinot Gris was the hot tip of the day when it came to wine pairings for spicy foods. The floral fruity and earthy flavors of Pinot Gris adjust well to the palate when paired with curry or coconut-based foods. Here are even more suggestions for wines that stand up to spicy foods.
For poultry, the wine-pairing pick was Sauvignon Blanc, although any medium-bodied dryer white would be suitable. Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive character coupled with modest complexity and high acidity. This makes it a perfect pairing partner for poultry dishes, and it works well with fresh herbs and rotisserie rubs.
The Seaport Hotel folks recommended pairing lamb with a light to mid-bodied red wine, such as a Pinot Noir. Its composition and character make it a universal palate adapter that pairs decently with almost every food, and it will blend nicely with any lamb dish.
While any full-bodied red will work with beef, a Petite Sirah was recommended as a classic combination for fattier cuts, such as a rib eye steak. Davio’s Northern Italian Steak House in Boston, MA echoes this advice with the following tip: Match the fat in the beef to the fullness and dryness of the wine, traditionally red wine. The more fat in the meat, the more full bodied you’ll want your wine to be.
So there you have it. Simple wine pairings for virtually any menu. For those wanting to go the extra mile and customize their dinner party wine pairings more precisely, here’s a resource to get you started.