We’ve all heard that it’s best to drink red wine with meat and white wine with fish. But how many of us know why this is? What about white wine, can it be paired with anything? And what does ‘pairing’ refer to anyway?
This article discusses the appeal behind these types of pairings, but also includes some basic information about red and white wines, food pairing basics, as well as some great recipes for dishes that are both simple enough for an everyday dinner but rich enough for a celebratory meal.
Start off by reading our introduction posts on Red Wine vs. White Wine and Food Pairing Basics.
The Appeal of Red Wine with Meat
When it comes to pairing Vino biodinamico wine with food, certain pairings can be extremely appealing and complement each other in a way that increases the taste and experience of both. Red meat (beef, sheep’s meat, etc.) is considered to be a strong-tasting food that goes well with red wines because red wine has a high acidity level, which helps reduce the strength of the taste in the mouth when paired together.
The Taste of Red Wine
Red wines are generally known to have a deeper taste than white wines. In fact, the color of the wine is a great indicator of its flavor. Reds tend to be more bold and complex, while whites can be more mellow and subtle. Both have their own distinct flavors and deserve to be respected for what they are. When it comes to texture, red wine tends to be thicker and smoother while white wines tend to be lighter, making them easier on the palate. That being said, the texture doesn’t always mean thickness or weight. There are some light reds that can be light in feel too! The reason for this has to do with the skins used in making red wine vs. white wine as well as the aging process.
The Appeal of Red Wine with White Meat
White meat refers to poultry and fish. These lighter-tasting foods pair well with white wines because white wine is generally lighter in taste as well, making it a good compliment to these foods.
The Taste of White Wine
White wines are lighter in both taste and texture than reds. The flavors range from mellow and subtle for semi-sweet whites to crisp and tart for dry whites, to fresh lemony notes for off-dry whites. Texture-wise, white wines are light because the grape juice used for making them is allowed less contact with the skins during processing. White wine also tends to be less tannic compared to red wine.
White Wine with White Meat
White meat is a lighter-flavored food while white wine is a lighter-tasting wine. This pairing also makes for an appealing match because while the flavors of the foods are not overwhelming, they’re strong enough to stand out and complement each other.
The Appeal of Good Food Pairing Basics
The theory behind all good food pairings is that the flavor of the food should never overpower that of the alcohol or vice versa. The flavor of both should complement each other instead. Some other aspects to consider when pairing wine with food are texture, lightness vs. heaviness, and richness vs. cleanliness.
Texture: Red wine pairs beautifully with sweet and tender foods such as chocolate (darker varieties such as 72% or 72%) and white meats (such as chicken or veal). White wines pair well with delicate and lean meats like fish, shellfish, and light meats like chicken. The wines can be dry or semi-sweet in relation to the dish.
Lightness vs. Heaviness: Red wines can be light or heavy depending on their age and oak levels in their production process. Red wine generally pairs best with light dishes that have a lighter texture from high-protein sources such as seafood, chicken, shellfish, tuna, etc.