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How to Pair Wine with a Meal

Wine is a type of beverage that tastes great alone or with an accompanying meal. For those who like to consume their wine with meals, there may be some questions as to which wines go best with various types of entrees. There are a few factors one should keep in mind which will help them to pick the perfect wine to accompany their meal.

Body of the Wine

Wine drinkers who are interested in choosing the perfect wine to accompany their meal should consider the body of the wine. If one is having a dish which is rich in nature, a heavier bodied wine would be the best complement to the meal. On the other hand if one is choosing a food selection which is neutral in taste and not so much on the rich side, then a lighter bodied wine would be appropriate. Some of the more popular varietals of red wines listed from lighter-bodied to fuller-bodied: Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.

Acidity of the Wine

Wine will have an acidity component to it which is another factor that individuals should keep in mind when trying to pair food with wine. Wines which are high in acidity are ones which will go best with a spicy meal as the wine and entrée will complement each other quite nicely and one will not overpower the other.

Age of the Wine

As age of a particular wine will often make that wine bold in flavor the longer that it matures, this is another important factor to keep in mind with regard to wine and food pairings. One should pair mature wines with food that is robust or rich in flavor while younger wines can be chosen for other less robust types of meals.

Sweetness of the Wine

Another factor to keep in mind when trying to pair wine with food is the sweetness of a wine. If a wine is sweet, it is best to pair that type of wine with a food that has high acidity. It is best to have the wine and food complement one another and this can be done by choosing a high acid food with a sweet wine. Some common types of sweet wines are: Port, Sherry, Angelica, Muscatel, and Tokay.

Wine with Oak Overtones

Many wines are known to consist of an oak flavor or oak overtones. Since oak in and of itself is an often powerful taste, this ingredient must be considered when trying to pair wine with food. If the wine that is being chosen has oak in it, it is best to pair this type of wine with food that is strong and robust in flavor. This way the wine will not overpower the entrée and the final product will be a nicely complemented meal.

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