Pairing Wine With Food for Easter Dinner

By WINEGUYMIKE

Wines are an integral part of any holiday meal being shared with friends and family.  During Passover and Easter wines historically have been a ceremonious emblem used in religious observances. For wine, Easter may be the most important holiday of the year when you consider its use in religious ceremonies.

It is important to know a little about wine and food pairing in order to choose the best wines at the best prices to serve your family and friends.  Pairing wine and food not only makes the dining experience more fun for everyone but done correctly it makes both the wine and the food taste better.

Remember though at the end of the day you drink what you and your guests like and there are no rules.  As the late Robert Mondavi said “Wine to me is passion, its family and friends, it’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art, its culture; it’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”

Wine_Glasses_at_The_Vines_of_Mendoza David-WilbanksWines and food both have texture and a sense of weight.  Balancing the two is the goal for a perfect marriage of wine and food.  A great example of weight, otherwise known as the body of wine, would be milk.  Consider non-fat milk as (light body wine), low-fat milk as (medium body wine), and whole milk as (full body wine).  Texture is much more of a mouth-feel but there is also a sense of weight that we associate in our minds and on our palates.  In other words is the wine or food heavy or light, is it rich or perhapslight?

The method of food preparation is also plays an important role when considering synergy and balance between food and wine. Here a couple of things to think about.

  • How is the food prepared, has it been Grilled, Baked, or Sautéed?
  • What about sauce? Sauce has a significant impact on food, is there a gravy,       crème or tomato sauce in addition to the food itself?

Big robust full bodied wine bold on texture should not be paired with delicate dishes, nor should they be paired with a food dish that is big on flavor.  Big wine and big flavor does not work well together; we are looking for that simple harmony between food and wine, not a power struggle.  Mild food dishes do well when they are paired with a wine that is medium to light in body.

When choosing wine the preference is medium to lighter bodied wines that have a balance of fruit and acid, have soft supple tannin qualities, and have moderate alcohol levels.  The best white wine to use in pairing wine and food are Pinot Gris or, as it is known in Italy Pinot Grigio, and Chenin Blanc.  Both of these white wines have a great fruit profile and the acid is a little higher than other grapes.  Acid is the component that brings out the flavor so wonderfully in food.

When it comes to selecting the right red wine there are a couple of things to consider.  Just like your white wines medium to light bodied wines are best when pairing with food along with the other attributes I just mentioned.  The red varietals that will always work great with food are; Barbera, Gamay, and Pinot Noir.  Frappato is a new wine varietal that also pairs very well with food.  This grape is native to Sicily and is currently in favor with cult wine drinkers who enjoy pairing wine and food.   Another good rule of thumb to remember with red wines is that if they are light enough to see through in a glass they will work with food fairly well.

Be sure to check out my blog on Good Friday morning at www.WineGuyMike.com I have several Easter wines I’ll be recommending for you to enjoy with your Easter dinner.

From my table to yours,

WineGuyMike™

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