The First Lesson I Learned In A Wine Store

You wanted to buy wine but you are not sure what to pick. It’s not like picking a soft drink or beer that everything will taste the same all the time. Each bottle of wine that you pick will have a different taste. The task is very intimidating. I remember the first time I went inside a wine store. While it looks amazing, I felt so small among the shelves of wine that is towering over me. I had no idea what to pick. What I know is I have this x amount of money to buy something to pair with my home cooked steak.

I raked my brain for any wine ad I could still remember. Ok, I should have researched, but that steak was a spur of the moment thing, too. So I just went to the red wine section and grabbed a bottle that my money could afford. It turns out; it was not the perfect one for my food.

So let’s save you from the mistake and go straight to the lesson. The key takeaway from this experience is not to be afraid to ask questions. The wine merchant knows about his merchandise, so make use of his expertise. I am sure he will be happy to welcome a budding wine enthusiast to his shop. Had I asked, “Would you suggest a nice wine pair with my steak at this price point?”, I would have enjoyed the wine experience better.

But I wouldn’t call what happened a mistake because it led me to explore more wine varieties and discover which I loved and which I will charge to experience. Start with cheaper versions of wine and take it a notch higher once you have the funds. Be adventurous but don’t forget to drink responsibly. It will be fun to share the adventure with a friend, too.

Newbie Guide To Wine and Food Pairing

Some people are not getting the full advantage of wine because of an odd pairing with food. It can even give the wrong impression about wine. Wine pairing is the foundation of building a love for wine. You will discover the power of wine in food that it can still elevate the flavors and sensations in your mouth.

It is a tricky task but let us break it down to the basics.

Forget the Old Rule

Regardless of the type of meat you are cooking, check what flavor profile your meal has. It is the dominant taste that flies in your mouth, and not the meat, so you need to match your wine with that flavor.

Wash the Salt With Bubbles

Salty foods are overwhelming. Too much saltiness could tarnish the wine’s taste. As such, the bubbly Champagne is a good option because it can cleanse the palate and infuse its fruity taste and texture.

Acid works best with acid

Think of the food that tastes yummier when you add a little bit of citrus on it. Chances are, acidic types of wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chianti will be the best pair of it. Usually, white wines are paired with white meat. But what if you preferred wine? You can still match it with your white meat by picking a red wine that is stronger in acidity.

Tannin is great with fatty foods

Tannin is the bitter taste that you get from wine. The tannin will balance out the greasy feel in your mouth. Cabernet is a type of wine that has a lot of tannins, try it when you have barbecue ribs.

Sweets for the Sweets

Sweets sometimes taste the same in the mouth that is why you need the wine with higher intensity of sweetness so that the dessert will not overpower it.

We also made a list of meats and the best wines to pair with it.

Beef and Lamb cooked or paired with:

  • Roasted or Grilled – Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • Barbecue – White Zinfandel or Zinfandel
  • White Sauce – Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • Herbs – Merlot or Shiraz
  • Tomato – Zinfandel and Chianti

Pasta or Vegetables cooked or paired with:

  • Tomato or marinara – Zinfandel and Chianti
  • Basil or pesto – Merlot and Chardonnay
  • Tomato Oregano – Chianti Merlot
  • Cream Sauce – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Garlic – Merlot and Pinot Noir

Chicken, Pork, and Tuna cooked or paired with:

  • Baked or Grilled – White Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Barbecue – White Zinfandel, Merlot, and Shiraz
  • Hot and Spicy – White Zinfandel and Reisling
  • Herbs – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
  • Cream Sauce – Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio
  • Tomato – Merlot and Chardonnay

Fish or Seafood cooked or paired with:

  • Grilled Dark Fish – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Grilled Lighter Fish – Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Herbs – Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay
  • Butter – Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Garlic – Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Lemon – Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay
  • Hot and Spicy – Pinot Grigio

We wish that you make this list your helpful guide to your next wine and food pairing adventure. Remember so old rules we know are not exactly right. Also, these above-listed information is only a guide, so that you do not have to make guesswork. But always trust your palate and it will guide you to what you like.