There are many activities to do with your loved ones during Valentine’s Day. You can take them out to the movies, walk with them in the park, or hang around each other. However, one of the most popular activities this time of the year are dinner dates.
The stars of this chosen event are usually food and wine. It’s no secret that some wine goes well with certain food compared to others. If you’re into an unforgettable dining experience this Valentine’s Day, we’ll talk about wine and food pairings that are sure to spice up romantic dinners.
The Rules to Wine and Food Pairing
Just like almost everything else, there are rules when it comes to pairing wine with food. Two main pairing types can be used as a basis: Congruent Pairings and Contrasting Pairings.
Congruent pairings mean that you can choose a wine that would complement the dish well. Contrasting pairings, on the other hand, means that you can choose a wine that will enhance the food.
Some rules about wine pairing include the following:
- The wine and food should be in an almost similar weight. This means that you should pair food that is light (food with lesser fat or sodium) with a light wine. The same goes for food that is heavy.
- Wines with bitter tannins can be moderated with heavy, rich food. Tannins are compounds that are naturally formed and exist in the skins of grapes. It has a bitter flavor, depending on the type of wine. The harsh taste of the tannin can be used as a palate cleanser whenever you’re eating a heavy and rich meal.
- Do not serve food or meals that are sweeter than your wine of choice. This is because whenever you eat food that is sweeter and paired with a dry wine, the taste will be unpalatable. It will be overly acidic, and the flavor will be a bit musty.
- The structure and texture of the wine matter when you pair food with it. High acid wines can complement meals with high-acid content.
- Your taste is what matters the most. It is important to remember that what you want to eat and drink should top any other rule there is. What’s the point of drinking wine and eating food if you’re not enjoying it? The rules are merely here to help you if you don’t know what to look for.
Which wine goes Well with Which Food?
Certain foods are popular this Valentine’s Day. That is why we’ll list the most popular dishes during the day of hearts, and the wine that best compliments it.
Steak with Peppercorn Sauce
Steak is one of the most popular foods during Valentine’s Day. It is considered as the food of love, and many are trying to cook the perfect steak just for their loved ones.
As mentioned before, dense food like steak is best served with tannic and bold wines. It can be paired best with a wine called Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most recognized red wines in the market. Because of how well it goes with steak, steakhouses all over the globe have a Cabernet Sauvignon on the menu.
A spaghetti carbonara is an Italian pasta dish made with egg, cured pork, black pepper, and hard cheese. It is a rich and creamy dish that is easy to make and delicious to eat. You’d surely impress your date with this classic choice.
The best wine that goes along with a spaghetti carbonara is the Pinot Grigio. Sometimes called Pinot Gris, a Pinot Grigio is a zesty, clean, white wine. It has a simple taste. However, it has a bad rep because of too many mass-produced bottles. To drink the best Pinot Grigio, avoid the ones that are considered budget bottles or wines sold under a massive marketing campaign.
If you or your partner are not into heavy mains, sea bass is a perfect choice for your entrée. It has been dubbed as “The Superstar of the Seas” and has been promoted even by top chefs. It is famous, especially for those who don’t like the overly fishy/smell of seafood.
Be it pan-fried or baked on a bed of mushroom and potatoes, wine best paired with a sea bass meal is a Sancerre. Sancerre is a type of white wine that is famous in France and has a more delicate texture compared to the Pouilly Fumé. There are different types of Sancerre wines, which range from fruity and well balanced to less stable but full-flavored wines.
Another fish in the list, salmon is one of the most popular and well-known fish in the entire world. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also good for your health.
Because of how fatty, flaky, and oily a salmon is, the wine that would fit it varies greatly on how it is cooked. However, the general rule of thumb for fishes like salmon is that it should be paired with full-bodied white wines such as oak-aged Chardonnay, White Pinot Noir, Marsanne, and many others.
This list won’t be complete without a vegetarian option. Just because you don’t like meat doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a good wine. Vegetarian options can also be paired with a variety of wines. However, just like the salmon, it will depend on how you prepare the vegetables.
Roasted vegetables will give off a rich and meaty texture, which is why rich red wines such as Merlot or Zinfandel would pair it best. If you add vegan cheeses or cream in your vegetables, oaky wines like Chardonnay would taste good with it.
Spicy vegetables can be paired with two types; a bolder wine like Merlot or a fruity wine like Gewürztraminer. Herbal and green dishes have a freshness that can be overwhelmed by a wine, which is why a light wine like Sauvignon Blanc would complement them.
Planning to Buy Wine in Time for Valentine’s Day?
If you’re planning to buy wine for Valentine’s Day, but don’t want to scour in different wine shops for specific wines, consider ordering online. The rise of technology meant that purchasing something can also be hassle-free, and buying wine is not an exemption.
Different online wine shops are just a click of a button away, just like Sokolin. With hundreds of wines in their catalog, you’ll surely find the wine that will go splendidly with your food.
With Valentine’s Day drawing closer, our loved ones would appreciate enjoying a good meal with us. That is why we should pour our best to make this a memorable night. A bland meal would spoil the night. However, a good meal paired with excellent wine will not only make it a memorable night but also strengthen your bond with your partner.