Any occasion calls for a glass of white wine and there are so many flavour profiles and types to suit every palate and delight your dinner party guests. If you are a fan of white wine but haven’t yet mastered the art of pairing white wine with food, let’s take a beginner’s look at how to do this for the various white wines out there. You don’t have to be a concessioner to achieve the perfect pairing balance, but it isn’t as simple as pulling out one type of food every time you crack a bottle. We will also consider the variables that will impact your selection.
Pairing with Prosecco
Prosecco is a summer favourite in many parts of the world, but its recent popularity has made it a past twice all year round. If you were looking to pair a meal or bite to eat with your Prosecco, consider that Prosecco is a fresh flavour that is still notably sweeter than champagne. Seafood is absolutely fabulous with Prosecco and so are some sharp, soft cheeses and cured meats. Doesn’t that sound good? Prosecco is light so you can also get away with sharing it with more intense flavours, and let the wine beautifully offset that taste.
If Pinot Gris is your wine of choice, then there is a wide selection of meals and appetisers you can enjoy with your glass. Beautiful roasts, meaty fish, creamy sauces and roasted vegetables provide a beautiful selection and the perfect way to enjoy a Pinot Gris. A bottle of this is a great option for a dinner party or a quiet night at home, as it will pair with those more hearty meals and hit the notes you need it to. Even if you’re not planning on entertaining, it’s still great to have a bottle in the house so you can make an evening meal more special.
Think fresh and citrus notes when pairing your bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Many choose vegetables in the raw state, like asparagus, as it offsets the bite of the Sauvignon Blanc perfectly. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, you can choose salty nuts and potato chips to pair with a glass that will go down a treat. Ultimately, a Sauvignon Blanc is quite acidic and so you want to be trying a recipe that is equally rich or salty to meet that flavour profile. Do your best to avoid mild and creamy flavours when drinking Sauvignon Blanc as it will just cut through those beautiful flavours rather than enhancing them, and pairing is all about adding to the experience and not reducing it.
Chardonnay is another popular white wine and is accompanied by nutty and buttery flavours. Lobster, mussels and flakey white fish will also be a great option for a dinner party with Chardonnay on the menu. If you have a long lunch or enjoy warm weather at Christmas time with seafood on the menu – Chardonnay is a great place to start. An oaky Chardonnay has the same creamy texture as lobster, but the acidity will also enhance the flavour by cleansing your palate with each sip so you can enjoy that lobster flavour all over again like it’s the first time.
Consider the Climate
The climate is another factor that is going to influence your food pairings, as well as the time of the day and season of the year. After all, a roast isn’t going to be a great idea for a summer dinner party so you have to have some other options on hand to counter the weather. Wherever you are in the world, the temperature will drastically impact your choice, so be confident in going with the flow and choosing flavour profiles similar to what is mentioned here if they don’t suit your location. A brunch menu is going to look a lot different to a dinner party spread so get a sense of what your company is expecting based on climate and timing.
If you know your white wines well, then chances are you are going to be very good at pairing these wines. Next time you enjoy a glass, be aware of the flavours you taste and think about what other tastes will either offset or compliment what you are enjoying. You might even be able to cheat and see what kind of pairings are recommended on the bottle or on the vineyard website. You can also experiment with friends and present different grazing platters next time you have a wine night.