Wine Portfolio
 
Excerpted from DK COMPANION WINES OF THE WORLD - Copyright 2010 DK Publishing
 
Wine and Food Matching - Special Occasions

Wine and food have complemented each other for thousands of years. Wine comes into its own at the dinner table thanks to its moderate alcohol, refreshing acidity, and sheer range of flavours. It is worth knowing some successful pairings of food and wine that have stood the test of time.

Social Occasions

With food
The general rules of wine and food matching still apply. It is often wise to select generally food-friendly wines (see In Restaurants), as guests are then able to enjoy one wine with all the canapés and different courses served.

Without food
In general, wines to be enjoyed on their own should be light and unpretentious. For parties and social events where no food is on offer, steer clear of anything too full-bodied and avoid high acidity or powerful tannins. Also take the time of year and weather into account.

In summer
Choose crisp, refreshing wines like Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and other cool-climate, relatively low-alcohol whites. You could also go for light, fruity reds suitable for a brief chilling. Basic Merlot, and Pinot Noir are good choices.

In winter
A medium-bodied wine, whether red or white, focusing on bright, fruity flavours and avoiding lots of oak. Good bets are Semillon, unoaked Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc. Reds such as Cabernet-Shiraz or Cabernet-Merlot blends are also highly enjoyable at this time of year.

At celebrations
Champagne and traditional-method sparkling wines are the classic choices. Champagne tends to be expensive, so is generally only an option for those with a bigger budget. Many Californian sparkling wines make excellent substitutes, however, and are normally a better choice to use in cocktails such as buck's fizz.

In Restaurants
Many top restaurants have a sommelier to offer diners advice on wine. If no sommelier is on hand, there are a few types of wine that are good with most foods. If you are all ordering different dishes, half bottles can help everyone get something to complement their particular meal.

  • Opt for medium-bodied styles, avoiding extremes. For whites, unoaked Chardonnay, Semillon, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc are the most versatile. Among the reds, Pinot Noir, inexpensive Merlot, or a fruity Cabernet-Merlot blend are excellent choices.
  • If the restaurant focuses on a particular nationality or style of cooking, try and choose wines of the same nationality.

Vegetarians and vegans should note that gelatin, isinglass (made from fish), and egg whites are sometimes used to fine (clarify) wines
 
Contents
Appellation d’Origine Controlée
Wine Through The Times
Wine Trivia 7
Fast Wine Facts 3
Grape Harvest
Oh the Horror! Red Wine Stains.
Wine Trivia 6
Grape Growing Problems
Fast Wine Facts 2
Ice Wine
Fast Wine Facts
How Many Grapes
Wine Aromas
Kosher Wine
Wine Trivia 5
When To Send Wine Back
Sherry
Wine Trivia 4
Prohibition
Great French Wine Blight
Port Wines
Wine Trivia 3
Wine Trivia 2
Wine Trivia
Oak Barrels
Sweetness
Sparkling Wine and Champagne
Organic and Biodynamic Wine
Aging Wine
Wine Varietals
Wine Labels
New World Vs Old World Wines
How Terroir Effects Wine
Clarifying Wine with Egg Whites
Tips On Preserving Open Wine
Why Red Wine Makes Me...
The Biology of Tasting Wine
Choosing the Perfect Glassware
Corks vs Plastic Corks
Wine Laws and AVAs in the USA
Tasting Wine
Wine and Food Matching
  Apéritifs
  Starters
  Fish & Seafood
  White Meats
  Red Meats, Barbecues & Game
  Vegetarian Dishes
  Ethnic Dishes
  Desserts
  Cheeses
  Social Occasions
Buying Wine
Storing and Serving Wine