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How to Choose the Right Wine and Food Pairing

The right combination of food and wine can enhance the dining experience. However, pairing food and wine doesn’t need to be difficult. It just takes a little knowledge and a lot of experimentation. 

Wine Selection

Start by choosing a wine you enjoy drinking by itself. This ensures you’ll still enjoy the wine even if your selected pairing doesn’t work. The same holds true for the foods you select. If there’s something you really don’t like, even the best wine won’t improve your opinion of the dish. 

Balance Matters

Consider balance when pairing food and wine. Be careful not to select a wine that overpowers your selected food. Both should have equal richness and body. For example, lightweight foods that do not contain fatty meats and/or sauces pair best with a lighter and more delicate wine, while heavier foods pair well with robust or heavier wines. Wines with less alcohol content tend to be lighter. Finding the right balance between food and wine takes some practice and patience to perfect.

Focus On the Most Prominent Feature of the Dish

While most people focus on the protein, it’s actually the sauce that makes up the most prominent feature of most dishes. For example, a piece of salmon served with a rich cream sauce will pair with a different type of wine then salmon served with a light dill sauce. The trick is finding the most prominent feature and selecting a wine that doesn’t overpower it.

Consider Structure and Texture

When paired correctly, wine can influence the taste of food. It’s best to pair high acid wines with high acid foods. Salty foods also pair well with high acid wines. Tannic wines pair well with salty, fatty, and protein-rich foods. Off-dry and sweet wines pair best with sweeter dishes.

Once you’ve figured out how to create balance between food and wine, you can get a little more creative with your pairings. Try working with the more subtle flavors in the dish. For example, wines with high bitterness can balance out dishes with a lot of fat and salt. Look for unique flavors when choosing your wine. A sauce containing smoked Gouda might pair well with a Shiraz. The smokiness in the finish of this bold red wine will complement the cheese in the dish.

Wine & Food Pairings at Breaux Vineyards

The serene setting, fabulous food, and award-winning wine make Breaux Vineyards the perfect atmosphere to experiment with food and wine pairings. We offer a variety of gourmet light fare in our tasting room overlooking our vineyards. Visitors to our winery can even bring their own food to our outdoor picnic area.

Stop by our winery this weekend to enjoy a tasting of our award-winning wines paired with our delicious appetizers, cheese plates, pub fare, soups, and sandwiches. We have numerous options to choose from. 

Come and see why Breaux Vineyards is Virginia’s favorite winery!