It has long been established that certain foods go better with certain wines. Many people decide what meal they want to prepare and then decide which wines will go best with that food, but others have a preference for certain wines and prepare their menu around the selected wine. If you are looking for the best white wine food pairings, here are a few ideas.
General Tips for Food and Wine Pairings
White wines are not all the same, so when pairing with seafood, you definitely want to pay particular attention. Seafood served in a creamy sauce pairs well with a chardonnay, but a lighter sauce that is not creamy works better with a dry Riesling. Tannic white wines are the perfect complement for foods that are salty or those that are bitter or somewhat sour. Acidic whites combine well with acidic foods, as well as those that are fatty, oily, or salty. Moderately sweet foods can pair with sweet whites, while full-bodies white wines complement heavy foods.
White Wines with Appetizers
In general, when you plan your meal, you usually begin with tastes that are delicate and move toward tastes that are considered heavier. The same is a good rue of thumb for wine. Begin your meal with appetizers and light white wines such as Chenin Blanc. Your appetizers may be mild or strong cheeses, which we all know go beautifully with wine, or you may have many different types of appetizers that you like to prepare. Understanding that white wines are the best choice for practically any type of appetizer can help you plan your menu.
Opening Meal Courses
Salads, fruits and lighter dishes are frequently the courses of choice at the beginning of almost any meal. Because they are light, they go well with white wines. The balance of the white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and tangy sauces or dressings works well. When dishes include fresh herbs, white wines also are the wines of choice. Light seafood dishes are also an excellent choice for early courses that are paired with white wines, as the delicate white wines can help give the seafood more flavors. In addition, many of the silky whites, such as Chardonnays, work beautifully with salmon or other fish or seafood in rich sauces.
Main Course Dishes
Spicy Indian and Asian courses are a perfect pairing for many white wines such as Rieslings because the slight sweetness of the wines can counter the spicy heat of the dish. Of course, any chicken dish as your main course will go perfectly with the whites, and the same goes for most pork dishes.
When you are serving white wines, the moderately sweet whites go particularly well with fruity desserts. The wine helps to downplay the taste of the sugar in the dessert while emphasizing the actual flavors of the fruit.
While these guidelines can be particularly helpful for the person who is just embarking on the path to including wines with foods, it is important to realize that there are no hard and fast rules in food pairings. Experiment a little and let your taste buds help you discover the white wine food pairings you prefer.