Wine has been around for centuries. It dates back 9,000 years ago where old rice and honey wine was first poured and enjoyed in the Central Chinese village of Jiahu. As evident from the tombs, Egyptians knew the art of making wine.
Thousands of years later, and we’re still carrying on the tradition. From the type of glassware to the right temperature, a glass of wine can change in taste. But what makes a good bottle of wine? Which dish do you pair the wine with?
That said, this Catering Bergen County NJ restaurant presents to you: The Art of Wine.
In the article, you’ll gain insightful tips on how to make the most of a glass of wine, the difference between red and white wines, as well as pairing recommendations.
How to Make the Most of Your Wine
Not every bottle of wine is made the same. But there are three ways you can still make the most out of your glass, whether you’re sipping our Moet & Chandon “Dom Perignon” or Alverdi Pinot Grigio.
It Depends on the Temperature
A common rule is that whites are chilled; reds are warmer. However, depending on the type of wine you’re dining with, there are ideal temperatures that will bring the flavors out.
Here is a list of common wines and their corresponding ideal sipping temperatures:
- Very light and bubbly wines (e.g. Champagne, dessert, and sparkling wines) are chilled at 40°F
- Slightly heavier wines (e.g. Sauvignon, Blanc, Pinot Grigio) go wonderfully around 45°F to 48°F.
- Getting heavier and heavier (e.g. Chardonnay and Chablis wines), 48°F-52°F is ideal
- Pinot Noirs are best served around 60°F to 64°F
- And Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz are perfect between 64°F and 66°F
Preservation of the Wine
Of course, there’s also the preservation to be taken into consideration. Essentially, the less air there is in the bottle, the more preserved and the better it will taste.
The Difference Between Reds and Whites
Other than the color, reds and whites have a number of differences. For one, reds tend to have a heavier, richer flavor. While whites tend to be lighter and bubblier, so to speak.
Because of their differing tastes, reds are usually best served with richer, creamier flavors. This tends to be the case with a juicy piece of filet mignon or prime rib.
Whites go well with lighter foods such as roasted vegetables, chicken, and lighter meats.
(To learn more about why your steak is prepared the way it is, read up on our previous article, This Steakhouse Bergen County Restaurant Brings You: The Fascinating Story Behind Meat.)
The Two Best Food Pairings of All Time
When it comes to wine, chocolate and cheese are the best pairings. It’s the richness and creaminess of the cheese that cuts through the sweetness and tanginess of the wine that makes this pairing so delicious.
You get a slightly different pairing combination when you put together wine and dark chocolate. Instead of the creamy and savory flavors of the cheese, you get the bitterness and smoothness from the dark chocolate mixed drawing out the equally smooth (and sweet) flavors of the wine.
What Pairs Well: The Rules
Not just any food-wine pairing goes perfectly together. In order to enjoy the delicious flavors and sensory experience of your meal, you need to know a few essential rules.
Heavy with Heavy; Light with Light
We touched on this earlier. To bring out the richness or lightness of your meal, it’s best to pair heavier foods with heavier wines and vice versa.
It’s All About the Location
Seafood pairs well with coastal wines. Whereas pork and food that grows inland goes well with countries farther from the coast.
Pair Mild with Flavorful
You can also do what seems like the opposite: pair a mild dish with a more flavorful wine. Or a flavorful dish with a smoother wine. Both of these pairings will combine, making the milder wine or dish more flavorful, and vice versa.
Cut the Creaminess in Half
Similar to hops in beer cutting the creaminess and savory-ness of a dish, wine does the same with either a dryer wine. Or a wine with a higher level of acidity.
Standard Wine Pairings
Now that you have a better grasp on the general wine-food pairing rules, here are some common (and more specific) pairings you’ll see. (Plus some pairings you’d see from our menu.)
Salt and Champaign
The lightness and bubbliness of Champaign bring out the saltiness of any savory dish.
Our Menu Recommendations
Champaign would definitely bring out the saltiness from our dinner menu option, Grilled Hickory Smoked Slab Bacon.
Chardonnay Paired with Fatty Fish
The light body cuts through this savory dish.
Our Menu Recommendations
Enjoy a glass of chardonnay with our Twin Rock Lobster Tails!
Pinot Noire and Earth-Rich Foods
Being a little heavier, pinot noir brings out the rich and earthy flavors in your dish.
Our Menu Recommendations
A pinot noir would go well with our Brick House Vegetable Soup or sautéed mushrooms.
Wine Tasting: The Ultimate Sensory Experience
Wine tasting is a full sensory experience. It doesn’t just include taste but the smell. While you’ve most likely experienced or have seen people sniff their wine and then taste it, there actually isn’t one right way.
But we do recommend that you let the taste linger in your mouth. That way, you get to enjoy the flavors from start to finish.
Also, should you be tasting several different types of wine, go from white to red. Since it’s easier to transition from a lighter to heavier taste versus the other way around.
What You May Not Have Known
The quality of the wine isn’t entirely based on the price. In fact, it has more to do with the experience and quality of the wine maker. A $2 bottle of wine can taste as good as a $20, and so forth.
Also, know that you don’t have to like the “right” wine in order to be considered a wine connoisseur. Simply having a curiosity and adventuresome spirit to try it is good enough.
If you do want to sound like a traditional wine connoisseur, familiarize yourself with winery terms like acidity, tannin, and the basics of the fermentation process. That way, you can speak “the winery” with confidence and ease.
What This Catering Bergen County NJ Restaurant Has to Say
Should all of the wine-food pairing rules apply to your dinner? They don’t have to. But, they have a history of enhancing the flavors of your dining experience. Nonetheless, feel free to try your own assortment of reds and whites with your meal. There’s always room to experiment.
- Make the most of your wine no matter how expensive or exquisite it is
- You can do this by setting the specific wine to the proper temperature as well as ensuring it’s well preserved (little to no air has interacted with the wine)
- Some ideal temperatures for wine include Champaign (40°F), Sauvignon (45°-48°), Chardonnay 48°F-52°F, Pinot Noire (60°F-64°F), and Merlot (64°F-66°F)
- Reds and whites are different in tastes and in pairings
- Usually, whites pair well with lighter meats and roasted vegetables; reds go better with heavier, more savory foods such as filet mignons and steak
- Overall though the two best pairings with wine are cheese and chocolate.
- It’s the creaminess of the cheese and richness of the chocolate that really complements the fermented drink
- Familiarize yourself with the pairing rules
- Such rules include pairing heavy with heavy and light with light; this is a safe bet, especially for meals with heavy meat
- You can also pair mild with flavorful dishes or drinks to mix the sensory experience together and get the best from both worlds
- You can further take a “tart” tasting wine, pairing it with a creamier, more savory dish; like with the hops in beer, the “tartness” cuts through the savory-ness flavors
- No matter what pairing option you decide on, know that you don’t have to stick to the traditional methods; think of them more as a guideline than a rulebook
Comments & Questions
Should you be interested in learning more about wine pairings and discussing catering options, contact this Catering Bergen County NJ restaurant.
And be sure to take a look at our blog for more menu recommendations and more tips and insight on what’s on your fine dining experience!
Please be sure to put questions and comments in the comment section.
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