Valentines Day is right around the corner. It’s that time of the year for everyone to start booking their romantic restaurant of choice, or planning what romantic meal they’ll be cooking at home, and of course, which bottle of wine they’ll pop for the occasion.
How does wine pairing enhance a meal?
Each meal, and wine is made of different blends of flavours, and quite frankly, not all flavours go together.
The right pairing of wine to a meal will balance the flavours while enhancing the gastronomical event.
How do you balance a wine with a meal?
The most basic way to pair wines is by how “heavy” it is. For example a rich, red sauce pasts would balance with a well bodied cabernet sauvignon whereas it would overpower the flavours of a salmon.
The lighter the flavours, the lighter the wine pairing.
Food and wine pairing basics
Firstly, determine the flavours of both the meal, and the wines.
Your tastebuds can identify seven basic elements: bitterness, saltiness, sourness, sweetness, astringency, pungency, and Unami.
Meanwhile the flavours that we taste in wines are actually through its scent, whether it is fruity, earthy, herbal, floral, woodsy etc. Wines also have a level of acidity which can be either tartaric, malic, or citric. You need to choose a wine that has a higher acidity to the meal otherwise the meal will overpower the wine leaving that glass feeling dull, and lifeless.
The easiest way to pair a wine is to find the most dominant component of the meal, and pair a wine with that. For example, a romantic entree of oysters will be served with lemon to bring out the briny taste that people crave. As lemon is highly acidic, a highly acidic wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay would pair perfectly.
Below are the recommended wine pairings by VINOMOFO for your romantic meals:
What wine pairing works best for steak?
The Fabre Montmayou Reserva Malbec 2018 is a lively, and full bodied wine from Mendoza, Argentina. It’s 100% malbec, and completely hand-harvested then spends 12 months in French oak to allow for a nice tannic structure without overpowering the bright, fruity flavour. Take a sip, and you’ll taste a hint of cherries, spices, vanilla, chocolate and sweet silky tannins. Buy here
What wine pairing works best for bolognese?
Oh whisk me away to Tuscany where the Monte Bernardi Retromarcia Chianti Classico 2018 was lovingly born. This traditionally made wine is a medium bodied wine, and made only using traditional grapes. It’s bright, hints of All Spice blackberry, minerally, and highly concentrated. Perfect for a rich, pasta dish. Buy here
What wine pairing works best for carbonara?
Carbonara is predominately cheesy dish created using pancetta, egg yolk, heavy cream, garlic, and a healthy amount of freshly ground black pepper. It requires a wine that isn’t too tannic so VINOMOFO would recommend the Mimi Flamingo Chardonnay 2017 from Australia’s own Yarra Valley. Mimi is a round, medium bodied, and elegant wine that hits your lips with hints of fresh grapefruit, and lime, serves you a gentle aroma of cloudy apple juice, and just-cut white peach then leaves you breathless with a hazelnut finish. Buy here
What wine pairing works best for seafood?
Let me introduce you to Hunter Valley’s Homeless Grapes Project Semillon 2019.
This light bodied wine is crisp, minerally, and delicate. The aroma is a beautiful lemongrass, and each sip provides mouthwatering acidity, with a balance of lemon zest, talc, slatey minerality and grapefruit pith. Plus 100% of proceeds from every purchase of this wine gets donated to OzHarvest. Buy here