Although some may view the art of food and drink pairing as pretentious, they fail to realize that most of us do this on a regular basis without thinking twice about it. For example, after taking a bite of a warm delicious brownie, are you more likely to reach for a glass of lemonade or a glass of milk? Most likely, you like both beverages, but you know which will taste better with your brownie. When planning a party or event, most hosts feel the pressure of choosing the perfect drink pairing to complement their meal. If this has ever been you, then you should know you’re not alone and many are intimidated by this decision. Here is a guide to aid you in drink pairing for your next soiree.
A basic rule of thumb with all wine is that it should be more acidic and/or sweeter than your dish.
- Red: The firm tannins of red wine help to refresh the palate, so tannin-rich wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec pair well with the bold flavors of red meat like steak or lamb chops. Merlot goes well with pasta, while Pinot Noir complements earthy flavors like stuffed mushrooms.
- White: Citrus flavors, like that in Pinot Grigio, accent seafood dishes well. Although with creamier seafood dishes, a fuller bodied Chardonnay is best. Dessert wines like Port, Moscato and Riesling are called that for a reason; just be sure and match the wine’s sweetness with that of the dessert being served.
- Rosé: This sweet, yet dry tasting choice can also be served with seafood, but another great pairing is with fruit, particularly berries.
- Sparkling: Pair sparkling wine like Prosecco and Champagne with salty food: its dryness does not pair well with most desserts. The dryness also makes it delicious with creamier cheeses, such as brie and mascarpone.
Be sure and choose a cocktail that won’t overpower your dish. A low alcohol content is also advised since ethanol dulls your taste buds, preventing you from enjoying your meal to the fullest. Serving herb-infused cocktails (like mojitos) is a great way to tie in elements of your meal, and a smoky bourbon or scotch will bring out the hints of hickory in your barbeque dish.
Like all carbonated drinks, beer is a terrific palate cleanser. It is also lower in alcohol content than wine and mixed drinks, making it perfect for spicy dishes. When serving a meal with some kick, keep in mind that drinks with a high alcohol volume can make food taste even spicier, so serve accordingly. Think pale ales and IPAs for your main course and save the lagers for later as the heaviness and flavor can overpower your meal.
Don’t overthink it and trust your instincts, odds are you already know more than you think. Still unsure where to begin? With over 25 years of experience, All Occasion Catering has the expertise to help you plan your menu and make your event one to remember. Offering bartending services along with set up and clean up, let the professionals at All Occasion Catering handle everything. Call 865-521-1300, or contact us on our website at https://www.alloccasioncatering.com/contact-us/