Beginner’s Guide to Wine Pairing to Impress Your Valentine

17th Dec 2021

Grapes and wine

Wine is an excellent choice to make the most of your Valentine’s day meal. It’s the most romantic drink, accompanying intimate situations flawlessly. But, even food and wine pairing basics can be intimidating for beginners. Luckily, it becomes much easier once you learn some general principles. This beginner’s guide to wine is meant to give even the least knowledgeable drinkers the basic wine pairing skills that will impress their valentine. Keep reading below to get all the info you need for this Valentine’s Day.

The Weight of Wine

The first part of this beginner’s guide to wine is understanding weight. Wine has something people refer to as a “body” or weight. Certain wines are considered heavier while others are considered lighter. You’ll need to know this because your meal should be built on balance. You don’t want to pair a heavy wine with a light dish or a light wine with a heavy dish. To tell if a wine is heavy or light, look at the alcohol content. The higher it is, the heavier the wine is considered. If your meal has a sauce, like with most pasts, take into consideration how that will compare to the body of the wine.

Pairing Types

Next on our beginner’s guide to wine is understanding the types of pairing. There are two food and wine pairing basics you have: complementary pairings and contrasting pairings. They work just like they sound. Complementary pairings have a similar flavor profile, like acid and acid. Contrasting pairings are flavors that go against one another, like sweet and spicy or sweet and salty. The type you want to go with depends on the type of food you have and the mood you want to set. We’re going to go deeper into the different flavors below.

Flavors

Pizza and wine

The traits to keep track of in this beginner’s guide to wine are:

  • Sweetness
  • Acidity
  • Tannin
  • Alcohol
  • Body

Versus the five basic tastes:

  • Sweetness
  • Sourness
  • Saltiness
  • Bitterness
  • Umami or Savoriness

There’s no surefire guide to how you can choose to put them together, but a general rule of thumb is don’t overdo one particular taste. You’re free to experiment as much as you want with your basic wine pairing. If anything, experimenting is encouraged. Some people will tell you to pair red with red and white with white, but you can feel free to mix it up. Trial and error can show you some amazing results. You can discover what tastes you enjoy the most.

Enjoy Some Wine

The biggest key to our beginner’s guide to wine is simply to relax and enjoy your wine. The reality is that there’s no true science to food and wine pairing basics. Even if there were, different people have different tastes and preferences anyway. As long as you take some things into consideration, you’ll generally be able to find the ideal pairing with a little effort. If you know your valentine appreciates the finer things, go for something more sophisticated. If they want to be more experimental, don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s almost impossible to get a truly terrible wine pairing. Enjoy the wine and you’ll be sure to impress your valentine.

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