If you’re planning to have your wedding anywhere within a wine region of Australia, you might want to consider matching the wine with your wedding food. This can make a winery meal special and very memorable for guests. But be careful not to get too caught up in the details of matching wine with food or you will get yourself stressed out and end up serving ten varieties of wine in one sitting! Have a chat to your wine provider about the menu you have chosen, and they will be happy to help you select the right wines to compliment the food. Otherwise you can decide for yourself which wines to serve by remembering some basic key points to food and wine matching. These points are:
Matching Strength of Flavours
A spicy dish, or one with a more intensely flavoured sauce should be matched with a stronger tasting wine. If you have balanced it correctly, you should have an equal palate of tastes. Can you taste the wine when you sip the wine? Can you taste the meal when you have a bite of the meal? If so, great. But if there is a dominant taste that lingers then it is not the right match.
Compatible Weights and Bodies
Without getting caught up in too much technical detail, an easy way to match wine with food is to pair compatible weights and bodies. This is where the old rule “red wine goes with red meat, white wine goes with white meat” steps in. However choosing a light bodied red such as Beaujolais can replace a light white wine, or a full-bodied white such as a Chardonnay also works well in place of a heavy red. If you are having white meat for dinner but it has a heavy sauce, match the wine to the sauce or to the strongest flavour of the dish.
There are four basic food tastes; sweet, sour, bitter and salt. A food strong in any of these can change how your wine tastes. For example, food that is salty or sour will make a wine taste milder, less acidic, so you should actually choose a wine with a higher acidic content to go with these types of dishes. Try a Sauvignon Blanc or even a sparkling wine. The opposite occurs with sweet foods, these will hide the fruit and highlight the tannins, making the wine taste stronger. So for sweet foods like most desserts, pair it with a fruity wine like Gewurztraminer.
Some experts say it doesn’t matter what wine you have with food, as long as you enjoy it. And others say the age-old traditions of matching food with certain types of wine are there for a reason. I think it is in between – match the wine and the food to get the most out of both, but don’t deny yourself your favourite drop by doing so! As long as you and your guests are enjoying the wine, don’t get caught up too much in trying to have everything matched perfectly.
At the end of the day, serve any wine for your wedding and most guests will be happy with what they get. But if you are given the choice to select the wines that are served, having the right match can be the difference between a good meal and a great meal.
Written by Heidi Bolton
Tags: wine for weddings