Food and Wine Pairing Guide

Photo Credit: suditalianewsYou don’t have to be an experienced Italian sommelier to figure out how to perfectly pair wines with each course on your holiday dinner menu. Not only will learning the basics of wine pairing impress all of your holiday guests, but you’ll also enjoy your food and wine so much more when they’re paired to complement each other.

Most people already know that fish typically pairs well with white wines and red meats tend to match with red wines; however, a few basic tips on food and wine pairing can take your matchmaking skills to the next level. Just don’t tell your doctor that we’re giving you all these handy alcohol tips and remember to drink in moderation.

  • Appetizers: When you’re working with a wide range of foods, it’s important to pick a versatile wine. A Rosé combines elements of a red and white wine while remaining light and fruity, perfect for starting off the evening.
  • Light White Fish: Pair a light fish with a light white wine. Anything that you can squeeze a lemon on would work well with Pinot Grigio, or anunoaked wine like Sauvignon Blanc, to help heighten citrusy flavors in the fish.
  • Fatty Fish: When preparing fish like Salmon, having a buttery white wine like a Chardonnay can help match that same richness, adding to the diverse flavor elements.
  • Red Meat: For rich red meats like steak, chops and sausages, grab a hearty and full –bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux or Syrah.
  • Light Meats: For light color meats match the wine to the sauce. Most often lighter meats like turkey and chicken are accompanied by a dominant sauce. Look for the same components of the sauce(fruity, spice, earthy, etc.)in your red wine.
  • Dessert: A bubbly like Moscatod’Astiand Asti Spumante pair well with standard holiday desserts like fruit tarts and pie.
  • Night Cap: Finish off the night with a port wine. You can either lean sweet, with elements of chocolate, or go more for a strong and dry blend.

If you want to keep it simple, start off with a chilled Rosé and keep it flowing into dinner if you’re serving ham, but pop open a red zinfandel for dinner if you’re having turkey. Finish off the evening with a Moscatod’Asti or a rich Port. If you provide care for an aging loved one in La Jolla or have kids who want to join in on the fun, chill a bottle of sparkling cider for them to enjoy in plastic champagne glasses.

For more tips on how to prepare for your La Jolla holiday get-together, visit LaJollaBlueBook.com! La Jolla Blue Book is your go-to guide for anything and everything La Jolla.

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Vanessa Turkeltaub
Vanessa Turkeltaub graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Communication. She has been with Blue Book Publishers for over 5 years, and has written over five-hundred La Jolla related articles. She enjoys going to concerts, art, and traveling. (vanessa@lajollabluebook.com)
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