Idiot's guide to wine pairing – Impress the lady in your life with these 5 simple tips

Guide to wine pairing | SA Men

You’ve decided to wine and dine the lovely lady in your life at the finest restaurant in town. You’ve got the reservation made, the outfit planned and you’ve told her to be ready for a night of romance and fun. The evening is perfectly planned, so why not impress her even further by ordering the perfect bottle of wine to compliment the meal of her choice?

  1. Generally speaking

There are a few general rules to follow when deciding which wine will compliment the food on your plate. So if you’ve ordered a hearty meat dish, you should pair that with a full bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon. Or if you’ve ordered a seafood dish, you can usually be sure that a nice light Chardonnay will compliment it perfectly. So the rule of thumb here is that the heavier or richer the dish, the more full bodied and robust the wine should be (generally speaking).

  1.  Select your wine based on the overall dish

Many people say that red meat should go with red wine and white meat with white wine. However, it’s still important to look at the meal as a whole. If you’ve ordered a tomato based fish or chicken dish, it may be best to select a lighter red wine, rather than a white wine, for example.

  1. Salty and acidic foods

By adding salt to your food, not only do you add flavour to it, but the salt can also assist with making the wine’s character spring into action. Acidic dishes with citrus elements will help the wine by enhancing its fruitiness and playing off the flavours of the meal. The more acidic or spicy a dish, the lighter and sweeter you want the wine to be.

  1. When in Doubt

Bubbles are always a winner! On the big night, if your lady stumps you by ordering a dish you are completely unfamiliar with, simply choose a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne. These choices are likely to compliment most food types. Another bonus of bubbles is that it makes most women giggle.

  1. Cheat Sheet

Although there is not necessarily a hard and fast rule, the guideline below should earn you a few brownie points:

·       Beef – Cab Sav, Shiraz, Merlot

·       Fish – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc

·       Shellfish – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne

·       Poultry – Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

With these wine pairing tips you’ll be the king of sophistication and will impress your lady, second to none. The best way to become familiar with the best wines for certain foods is to experiment and try it out for yourself. Everyone’s palette is different, so try, try and try again.