Some people consider the art of pairing drinks with food as obsolete and totally unnecessary. These are the people who have whatever drink they want with whichever dish without knowing that they could be having a whole new world of sensation if they paired the correct food with the correct drink!
It’s a tricky world to navigate and there are so many things that you can get wrong when you first start trying to pair things together. There are loads of different notes and hints of flavours in drinks that one wrong step could turn it all upside down and make the pairing go rubbish.
These are just very basic guidelines to be used as a sort of beginner’s guide to pairing.
Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp and light white wine that is very citrus-ey and has undertones of acidity. The herb qualities that are found in Sauvignon are perfect for bringing out herbs in herb-based, light dishes, especially chicken, turkey, and pork.
It’s also great for eating with cheese and nuts if you’re not a fan of earthy red wines. Thanks to the citrus flavour it also goes great with oranges, green apple, and asparagus.
If you’re drinking it with dessert, go for light dishes like sorbet, mangoes, key lime pie and meringue desserts.
Merlot is traditionally seen as an older gentlemen wine, but don’t underestimate it. The fruity flavour with a bitter twist gives the Merlot versatility to be enjoyed with any course of a dinner. For starters, anything based in caramelised onions, tomatoes or plums is a great fit for Merlot.
For your main, have a red meat or a meaty fish like tuna to get the most benefit out of this deep red wine. Sauces like bolognese or bearnaise are the best for Merlot.
For dessert, anything with berries, dark chocolate or fondue is a winner. But, if you’re pairing with chocolate, you need to make sure the Merlot is one that is sweeter than the chocolate, otherwise, the wine will taste bitter as chocolate is very hard to pair with.
Lager is such a broad term, there are plenty of different concoctions that are allowed to call themselves lager beer that pairing them is as individual as pairing with different types of wine. So I’ll keep this vague and broad. Of course, the best pairing for any beer is pizza. The two were made in junk food heaven to be a couple until the end of time. If the cheese on the pizza is something stronger than cheddar, try a darker ale or something with a bit more of a bitter taste.
However, beer also goes really well with sushi and other seafood like white fish – especially with fish and chips. Of course, the most perfect thing to pair with beer is pretty much any and all fried foods like fries, mozzarella sticks and anything that is super greasy.
Don’t underestimate the power of beer with spicy food too. Most people presume you should have something creamy with these but that is not always the case.