The traditional philosophy on food and wine pairing is based on simpler times and foods: white wine with chicken and fish, red wine with red meat. Now, more than ever, it’s a cinch to pair up these ambitious cuisines with even more ambitious wines.
Bubbly wines mark celebrations, big or small, yet work beautifully with specific foods. Lean, steely and opulent, they often have toasty or minerality hints along with yellow or red fruit qualities.
Crisp white wines are like liquid silver, the lightest of the white wines and refreshing any time of year. Zesty acidity, citrus tones and light body make them perfect for aperitifs or lighter fare.
Mellow white wines are always versatile, crowd pleasing, palate-soothing and medium bodied. Usually more supple and round, they generally have hints of apple or pear, enhanced by floral scents, vanilla, and baking spices.
Plush white wines are lush, full-bodied, and rich in both texture and flavor. Stone fruits like peach, nectarine, apricot and honeydew dominate, along with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, caramel and butter. Best slightly chilled to experience their complex flavors.
Bright red wines are the fresh light reds, food-friendly and versatile, perfect in the summer slightly chilled and at the Thanksgiving table, but have the seriousness to drink all year long. Red berries, currant, light tannins, and earth abound.
Velvety red wines are medium body, versatile, crowd pleasers, featuring dark and red fruits like cherry, raspberry, and blackberry, balanced tannins, and can often display hints of pepper, baking spices, mushrooms and earthiness.
Bold red wines command notice. Very full, dark fruits like blackberry, plum and black currant are their signature, as well as firm tannins. Earth, coffee, chocolate, tobacco, and black pepper tones help these wines stand out from the crowd.
The sugar content in these wines – still, sparkling or fortified – is what separates Sweet wines from traditional table wines. With dessert, cheese or enjoyed in lieu of dessert, they can be a very special finish to a meal.