Serious wine drinkers are serious about their red wine-food pairings. When the pairing is just right, the combination can be one of utter delight. However, when the pairing isn’t a good one, the flavors can clash and destroy the whole effort. If you are venturing into the world of combining different wines with different foods, you may want some guidance. While there is not simply one good pairing with red wines and particular foods, there are a few pairings that are very basic and may be thought of as classic.
Stilton Bleu Cheese and Port
Wines are often paired with cheese, and no combination is as classic as the pairing of the salty, rich and creamy texture of Stilton cheese with a glass of Port. Port is a dessert wine that is slightly sweet and rich, which perfectly balances out the saltiness of the cheese.
Bordeaux with Lamb
Red meat that may be quite bold in its flavors, Lamb can actually be a bit gamey. Because of this, the combination with Bordeaux can be perfect. However, it is important to be aware of different lamb cuts as well as different preparation methods. For the best combination with Bordeaux, you should select cuts that are refined and use preparation methods that are simple. Some of these lamb cuts may include rib chops, rack of lamb, and loin chops.
Provencal Red Wines with Lamb
Because lamb can also come in cuts and be prepared in a less refined way, it is good to know what a great combination with such wines as Bandol or Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which are meaty and aromatic. When using leg of lamb or grilled loin chops that have been seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and cayenne that is gamier, using Provencal red wines is the perfect complement. The main point is to realize that when the flavors in the wines mirror those in the rich lamb dishes, the combination simply can’t be beaten.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Beef Steak
Wimpy wines simply do not go well with the heartiness of a good beef steak. Full-bodied wines such as California Cabernets or Bordeaux generally have the power and structure to complement the steak without overwhelming it. These wines simply overpower lighter dishes, but the fat and protein of the steak complement them perfectly.
Dessert Wines and Chocolate
The pairing of chocolate with wines has been much discussed and actually has created quite a controversy. However, it has been traditional that pairing rich sweet dessert wines such as port with the rich dark flavor of chocolate is the only acceptable choice. Some say that chocolate is such a strong flavor that no wines can do it justice and it should simply stand on its own. Others feel that some dry red wines that are full-bodies can pair well with dark chocolates that are not too sweet.
As you contemplate these classic pairings between foods and red wines, you now have a great place to start your own adventure pairing foods with the right wines. While it is great to think outside the box, it is a good idea to try your red wine food pairings out before you serve them to guests.