Our wine pairing series continues! We started with Wine and Cheese Pairing 101 and Wine and Cheese Pairing for Intermediates, and then moved on to the Truth About Wine and Chocolate. Today, weâ€™re switching from sweet back to savory as we explore wine and meat pairing.
Tracy Sellers of the California Bountiful blog reminds us that wine and food pairing is about creating harmonious relationships that bring out the best elements in one another. As executive chef Michael Tuohy told Sellers, â€śA good match will bring out the nuances and enhance the flavors and unique characters of both the food and the wine.â€ť
There is an old rule that red meat should always be paired with red wine and white meat should always be paired with white wines. But as most sommeliers will confirm, sticking to this type of rule can result in missed opportunities to enjoy truly heavenly combinations. As Master Sommelier Larry Stone says, even the slightest pinch of salt above what a recipe calls for can completely change a dish and, in turn, the wine that it will best pair with.
The best approach when learning how to pair wine with meat is to keep an open mind and try to test your palette and pay attention to the subtleties. Take cues from the sauces, seasonings, spices and other flavors to decide which red or white wine will bring out the juiciness of the meat or the flavors itâ€™s cooked with. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the Food & Wine editors to get you started.
- Meats and fish prepared with rich sauces go great with Chardonnay.
- Pair meats dressed in a tangy or tart sauce with a Sauvignon Blanc.
- Unoaked wines pair nicely with any dish that you can squeeze a lemon or lime on.
- With lighter meats, focus on pairing the wine with the sauce.
- Cabernet often enhances juicy red meats.
Practice your wine and meat pairing skills over a fun meal with friends. And to make it even easier to get the wine cork rolling, start with Hickory Farms gourmet food and wine boxes such as our Summer Sausage Trio, Fruit & Cheese Fest, Toast the Traditions box, or our Vineyards & Orchards package.
Making wine is an art, but enjoying wine can be an art as well. And while wine pairing requires a little know-how, anyone can dabble in the art of enjoying wine with cheese. Here are a few basic guidelines to get you started.
Photo via Recipe.com
- You canâ€™t go wrong with white wine and cheese. Many white wines go nicely with cheese because of their lively acidity and lack of tannins.
- When it comes to reds, choose wines that are low-tannin, high in acidity, fruity in flavor, or lower in alcohol.
- Darker, tannin red wines are best with cheddar or jack cheese and other harder, saltier cowâ€™s milk cheeses. Just remember that â€śtannins need fat,â€ť as Honest Cooking magazine puts it.
Donâ€™t forget that cheese is food, so you can always fall back on the most basic rule of wine and food pairing. We like how Eatocracy words it: â€śJust as lighter wines tend to go better with lighter foods and heavier wines with heavier foods, lighter cheeses are better with lighter wines.â€ť
If all else fails, just have fun and donâ€™t be afraid to experiment! You canâ€™t really make mistakes when it comes to wine pairing, youâ€™ll just notice that certain pairings end up creating a more enjoyable experience than others. As one cheesemonger told the Napa Valley Register, “Once you hit the right combination (of wine and cheese), you’ll knowâ€¦ your palate will tell you.” So trust your palate!
And to make enjoying wine and cheese together easier, Hickory Farms offers several gourmet food baskets that feature wine, cheese, and other delicious foods to pair with wine including fruit, nuts, and crackers. Our Cheese Trio or one of our Wine Gifts, for example, would be perfect for throwing your own wine pairing party or for gifting to a host.
What are your favorite wine and cheese pairings? Share your wine pairing stories with us in a comment below or on the Hickory Farms Facebook page. Also, donâ€™t forget to see our recent post on Tips from Wine & Food Experts on How to Host a Wine Tasting.
â€śIâ€™d like to thank the Academyâ€¦â€ť This famous phrase heard many times at the Oscars is a humble reminder of the first thing one should do when succeeding is say â€śThank Youâ€ť to those who supported you.
And while you may not be receiving an Oscar, your company should always respond to success by first thanking your clients. Sending a corporate food gift basket to clients is a wonderful way to show how much you value their loyalty and express your appreciation for their business. Corporate gift giving is also a thoughtful gesture that can help you to continue to strengthen the relationships you have built with your clients.
Hickory Farms has a wide variety of corporate gift-giving options from wine and cheese baskets to gourmet nut and meat gifts. Our quality corporate gift baskets are filled with delicious ingredients like gourmet meat, cheese, fruit, wine gifts, and other delectable treats. We also have consultants on hand who can help you customize your gifts to build the perfect gift basket for each and every one of your clients.
Wine and cheese baskets from Hickory Farms
We can even help coordinate corporate food gifts throughout the year. Whether you want to send wine gift baskets on birthdays and anniversaries or sweet gifts on holidays, our gift consultants can make sure your clients receive gourmet corporate food gifts that you hand-selected for them, just in time to celebrate the special occasion. All you have to do is email your spreadsheet to one of our consultants and weâ€™ll take care of the rest!
Thereâ€™s no better way to celebrate success or share good news with clients than with a thoughtful corporate gift. Visit the Hickory Farms website or call 800-715-1474 to speak with a corporate gifts consultant to start creating your custom corporate gift baskets.
What kind of gifts have you given your clients in the past to show your appreciation? What gifts did your clients seem to enjoy the most? Weâ€™d love to hear about your experience with corporate gift giving. Share a comment below!