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.

Delicious Poolside Snacks for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Kids with summer birthdays always throw the best parties, and there’s nothing like a pool party to have some great fun in the sun. Hickory Farms has compiled some suggestions for delicious poolside snack recipes your young ones will love.

summer sausage

Source: Delish

  • Party food doesn’t have to be full of sugar. Give your kids a boost of the natural energy they need with Quick Kebabs. Alternate pieces of fruit, cheese and sausage on wooden skewers and serve on a platter. Our Orchard’s Bounty Gift Basket has plenty of fresh fruit, cheddar cheese and summer sausages to make this a hearty snack. You can also include some sweet treats from our Dried Fruit Collection to add some interesting textures.
garden vegetable cheese spread

Source: Ken Burris via Delish

  • Easy-to-make Frogs on a Log is a delicious treat that balances healthfulness with savory flavors. All you have to do is split celery stalks and spread the center with Hickory Farms Garlic Mozzarella or Garden Vegetable Cheese Spreads. You can also place some sliced green olives with pimento on top of the spread for a nice contrast in flavor.
hickory farms

Source: Delish

  • Mini Rice-Cake Stacks are a yummy, crunchy creation that keeps kids’ energy levels high without a lot of empty calories. Simply spread apple cinnamon rice cakes with peanut butter or Nutella and add some banana slices. Top with another rice cake for a kid-size sandwich they can munch on when they climb out of the pool.
hickory farms

Source: Delish

  • During the summer months, it’s just too hot to fire up the oven. But you can make these No-Bake Cookies in just 10 minutes. Use finely ground graham crackers, raisins, honey, peanut butter and unsweetened coconut. This recipe makes 16, so you can double or triple as needed.

hickory farms ice cream truffles

Hickory Farms offers up plenty of fabulous birthday treats for kids of all ages, including our Italian Ice Cream Truffles, which come a dozen to a box and feature a variety of scrumptious flavors, including Tiramisu and Cookies & Cream. Call 800.753.8558 to place your order in time for all of your family’s summer birthday celebrations.