Wine Pairings: To Complement or to Contrast?

July 5, 2018

Having trouble pairing a wine with your meal? Consider the two Cs the next time you’re choosing a wine: complement or contrast. Are you looking for your wine to complement or contrast the flavors you have on your plate? When you take this approach, it’s much easier to find a wine that pairs well with your palate.

For example, a complementary pairing may be a citrus, light white wine to go along with a lemon chicken entrée. This will highlight key tastes within your drink and food. Another example would be complementing the creamy béchamel sauce of macaroni and cheese with a white wine such as Pinot Grigio. The high acidity of the white wine will go beautifully with the fat in the macaroni.

In contrast, a Rose may be interesting when paired with an oily curry dish. The notes will play off each other creating a contrasting taste. Acidity and texture are important to consider if you’re looking for contrasting flavors. You may want to pair acidic foods with a fuller, less bitter wine. As well, a complex dish that holds several flavors, such as Paella, would go well with a simpler, well-balanced wine. Therefore, the dish would be the meals’ focus with a palate-cleansing wine as a side.

For a one of a kind wine tasting experience, book a tour with Central PA Winery & Brewery Tours. You will stop at several wineries in the location of your choice. There, you can ask experts for their own advice regarding complementary and contrasting wine pairings. For more information or to schedule a tour today, visit our website here.

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