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.

Plan a Stress-Free Family Reunion Picnic

Summer is a great time to plan a festive family reunion and a fun picnic where everyone can enjoy a whole lot of mingling and reminiscing. Hickory Farms has put together a few suggestions for making your family reunion a stress-free and fun occasion for all.

gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Location, location, location. Choose a spot everyone will enjoy spending time at, such as a state park, nearby lake or beach with covered areas for meals, picnic tables and a grill. If most of your family members live nearby, your local park may be the best option.
gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • As family members arrive, give them each a gift bag. Include an itinerary of the day’s events, along with a sheet with everybody’s contact information, including email, snail mail addresses and phone numbers. This will help family members stay in touch throughout the year. It’s also a nice idea to include a commemorative T-shirt, beach towel or drink koozie printed with the date and name of your family’s reunion.

gourmet fruit basket

  • Each family member can bring their own dish, but as this is a day-long event, you want to make sure there are a couple snacks for hungry kids. Luckily, Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Honey Gold Ham is a picnic-perfect solution for hungry family members and can also double up as your reunion’s main course. Our Summer Fruit Collection contains a nice selection of fruits for healthy, low-cal snacking. Potato Salad is a hit at any outdoor gathering, so make sure it’s on the list.
gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Since this is a gathering of generations, make sure you provide a variety of entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy. A deck of cards, some board games, horseshoes and softball equipment for a pick-up game are all great options for the entire family to enjoy. Don’t forget to designate someone as videographer to capture priceless family memories.

Hickory Farms makes it easy to bring gourmet goodies to your reunion. Our Bountiful Tastings basket and a wide variety of our fruit and nuts selection can generate a delicious boost of energy to keep the fun going on all day long. Just shop online, or call 800.753.8558 for a quick delivery right to your door.

Make Our Holiday Ham the Star of Your Easter Dinner!

 

With the perfect combination of smoky, salty and sweet, gourmet ham is a fantastic addition to your spring feast. Since it works so well with a variety of flavors, customizing your ham with sauces and sides to suit your tastes couldn’t be easier. Make our Hickory Farms’ Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham the true star of the show with these simple tips.

A slightly sweet glaze is the perfect way to accentuate the natural sweetness of the Ham. For a delicious and unique sweet and savory combination, try topping your ham with a Cherries Jubilee – Black Pepper Glaze. Simply mix together black cherry preserves, chicken stock, a dash of brandy, a splash of cider vinegar and a bit of ground pepper. Heat the mixture in a saucepan until reduced, and pour over your ham before warming.

 

Source: My Recipe Log Boook

 

If you’re looking for a main dish that’s just a little spicy, try basting your gourmet ham with a fiery Fresh Peach Chutney. Simply cook down fresh peaches with sweet onion, brown sugar, a bit of balsamic vinegar and a touch of spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning.

 

Source: Mr. Food

 

Sharp mustard and smoky ham is a natural pairing. Enjoy this delicious combination by topping your ham with a Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce. Simply simmer brown sugar, garlic, nutmeg and orange juice with sherry, golden raisins, orange zest, and, of course,Dijon mustard.

 

Source: My Recipes

 

Once you’ve decided on the sauce for your ham, it’s time to round out your meal with sides that will perfectly complement your delicious main dish. Ham and apples pair wonderfully together, making Apple-Pear Salad a perfect side dish. Just toss together apples, pears, lettuce, Swiss cheese, nuts from Our Finest Mixed Nuts Gift Tin and dried cranberries. Afterwards, add some lemon-poppy seed dressing.

 

Source: My Recipes

 

Another springtime dish that will taste perfect with your gourmet ham is Roasted Fingerlings and Green Beans with Creamy Tarragon Dressing. Simply roast local fingerling potatoes, blanch your beans and mix with the dressing.

With these delicious sauces and side items, your Hickory Farms gourmet ham is sure to be a spring dinner hit. For more information about our Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham, visit www.hickoryfarms.com today.