Showing posts with label food and wine pairing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food and wine pairing. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Food and wine pairings

We’re going into the holiday season where one of the most asked questions is which wines pair best with which food? For holiday dinners, Thanksgiving in particular, it’s always a hard question to answer. These dinners are usually served in more of a buffet style and there hundreds of different flavors to try to pair with. This is not the easiest task for anyone. What I have always done was put out a couple of different wines and let people pair with what they have. This seems to have worked well for me in the past and it’s an easy way for everyone to find something that they enjoy.

This year we decided the best way to inform our customers would be to take a food and wine pairing class that was being offered at the Tri-Cities extension of Washington State University. Andy Perdue from Wine Press Northwest and Christopher with Yoke’s Fresh Market led the class where we learned a little bit about different varietals and what they paired the best with. If you are looking to pair something with turkey a pinot noir is always a good match but here at Woody we like a good chardonnay or even a merlot or sauvignon blanc. A holiday ham goes well with similar wines also. There are times, with the right ham, that I’ll go out on a limb and pair it with a nice syrah. For those who serve roast beef as their main course you can never go wrong with a big hearty red, usually big cabs or merlots.

A few key things to remember when trying to come up with a pairing with red wine …

  • Versatile wines are always going to show better with acidity playing an important part. A wine that is high in acid will stand up better against food than a wine that is lacking.
  • Fruity wines tend to have versatility and they don’t compete with flavors.
  • Wines can be enjoyed with spicier food, they just need to be a bit higher in acidity and usually with a little residual sugar.
  • To tame a big red, pair it with a food that is high in protein. Proteins help to bind and smooth out tannins.
  • Wines can be an ingredient in foods – and when done well a good ingredient too. If you add wine to the food plan on serving it with dinner also.
And a few key points to remember when pairing with a white …


  • Sweetness does matter. Some desserts are better off enjoyed by themselves some can be paired very well with a wine.
  • Acidity is one of the most important things.
  • Bubbly is very versatile and (in my opinion) a very essential part to any holiday meal.
And when in doubt, pork and poultry are great matches with whites! If I have questions the website that I frequently check is http://www.winewebcentral.com/winepairing/. It’s a great one that suggests different wines to pair with most main dishes.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday season! Happy Thanksgiving and hope to see everyone through for Holiday Barrel weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Woody team!