6 Basic Elements of Food and Wine Pairings

Many people love enjoying a glass of wine at dinner. However, they might not know how to successfully pair their meals with the perfect drink. Here are a couple tips you can follow for a fabulous (and doubly delicious!) wining and dining experience.

gourmet wine basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

In general, there are six separate food elements that interplay with wine.

1. Fat Element

There’s fat in dairy products as well as in meats and sausages. Because wine is produced without fat, a balance must be found with the wine’s acidity. The tannins in a robust red will cut the fat’s heaviness, or you can complement its essential richness with the wine.

2. Acid Element

Wines have acidity, as do foods like fruit, particularly citrus. The right level of acid gives a wine its signature zing. Select wines with enough acidity to stand up to a specific dish to amp up your wine’s unique verve.

3. Salt Element

If you’re serving salty snacks, like nuts or an array of cheeses, you might be surprised that the best wine choice is a sweet Sauternes. Sparkling wines are also perfect palate cleansers with salty foods.

4. Sweetness Element

Some people might think that sweet wines pair well with sweet foods, but that’s not necessarily the case. While cured ham with a hint of sweetness can be paired seamlessly with a Chardonnay, you want to make sure you’re not overdoing these flavors. A Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream Truffle would never blend with a dry red, so try a semisweet red like a harvest zinfandel instead.

5. Bitterness Element

The bitter notes in wine are produced from tannins and can be tempered by fatty foods. Mustard and collard greens may have a bitter taste, but they can be paired with a Zinfandel or a Pinot Blanc. Foods and wines with bitter notes don’t do well together.

6. Texture Element

Texture in food and wines is measured by lightness and heaviness. Consider how pleasant a glass of white wine can be with some sliced fruit as an appetizer, or on its own. When you plan a big meal, a Pinot Noir or Chianti would be most appropriate.

gourmet wine basket

Hickory Farms wine gifts are already expertly paired so you don’t have to guess at a good match — it’s already made! You can place your order online today for a quick home delivery.

A Guide to Red and White Wine Pairings

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Source: Food and Wine

Planning a party can be a fun experience. From selecting menu options and decorating your home to compiling the perfect playlist, the list of things to do goes on and on. But even experienced party planners can become stymied when trying to choose which wines go best with which foods. 

However, Hickory Farms can make your choice a little easier when you’re planning your next soirée. Keep in mind there are no hard and fast rules, merely suggestions for the optimum taste experience.

Some wine pairings work because of their similarities to the dish; others succeed because they make an interesting contrast. Other factors to consider are whether you’re serving lighter fare, which generally calls for a light white wine as opposed to a heavy-bodied red.

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Source: Food and Wine

The most basic wine rule has always been serve reds with red meats and whites with chicken and pork. This is because the fats and proteins in red meat mellow the tannins inherent in red wine.

One interesting contrast you might consider recreating is the heat of a chili-infused or spicy Cajun main course offset by a sweet Reisling or Italian Moscato. Below are a few other suggestions that stand the test of time.

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Source: Food and Wine

  • Champagne tends to go best with salty foods, which is the reason you’ll often see the bubbly served alongside caviar at elegant affairs.
  • A white wine like Sauvignon Blanc does well with foods that are slightly tart or tangy. Think Orange Chicken or seafood-based dishes like Scallops with Grapefruit Onion Salad.
  • You can never go wrong pairing a thick, sizzling steak off the grill with a robust, red Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Consider all the dairy ingredients in a Chicken Alfredo and select something with a buttery component like an oaky Chardonnay.
  • Spring is an excellent time to serve roasted lamb with a light, fruity Beaujolais.
  • A Greek salad loaded with olives and feta cheese is delicious with a cold Pinot Grigio.

hickory farms wine gifts

Hickory Farms extravagant wine gifts have been carefully selected and paired with numerous delicious offerings to make your next party a huge hit! You can view our wine collection on our website, or contact us at 800.753.8558 for more information.

Great Seasonal Produce for Spring Recipes

Along with sunshine and flowers, springtime also brings delicious, fresh-from-the-garden produce. With their juicy, crispy texture, fresh fruits and veggies can help take your dishes to the next level. Celebrate the return of the growing season with Hickory Farms and these fantastic ideas for spring recipes.

Source: James Baigrie via Real Simple

As one of the very first crops of the year, asparagus is your sign that spring has truly arrived. Cheer on this milestone with a simple dish that allows the subtle flavor of asparagus to shine through. Just bake a little prosciutto until it’s nice and crispy and sauté the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the two together and serve with a crisp white wine, like the Bogle Sauvignon Blanc from our Vineyards and Orchards Gift Box.

Source: Martha Stewart

Whether you harvest your own wild onions or pick some up at the local farmers’ market, spring onions are an important part of seasonal cuisine. Transform yours into a creamy spring onion soup by cooking down your mixed onions with fennel, salt and pepper until tender. Then, mix in wine and cream before pureeing. You can add an extra depth of flavor by melting our Peppercorn White Cheddar over the top of this dish.

Source: Babble

Bright, tangy and perfectly sweet, fresh local strawberries are only around for a limited time. Start your meal off right by enjoying some spring berries with a sweet and savory salad. In a large bowl, simply toss together fresh spinach, sliced berries, a handful of our Mixed Nuts and some homemade poppy seed dressing.

 

Early and late spring brings the perfect weather for fresh greens. Savor this seasonal delicacy with a wholesome and satisfying meal that works well with any green. Simply combine the greens of your choice, such as mustard, chard, or collard, with white beans, fresh tomatoes and gnocchi. Add the finishing touch with a sprinkle of our Harvest Vegetable White Cheddar Blend.

Cooking with fresh spring produce is the perfect way to brighten up your dinner table. Finish your delicious seasonal dishes with a few extra texture and flavor components such as fresh ground pepper, such as fresh ground pepper, for a true seasonal delicacy.