When creating a multiple course meal it is often desirable to include a complementing wine to accommodate every course. When selecting the type of wine to be served with each course, there are multiple ways of choosing. Either one could choose the wine and pair the foods according to the wine selection or one could choose the dishes and pair the wine with it accordingly. In either approach, the wine and the meal will harmonize beautifully.
When selecting the wine first, traditionally the wine is served dry to sweet, white to red or young to old. The purpose of selecting a white, milder wine first is because we want to ease the palate into the flavors of the wine. This allows us to taste the richness of each wine. If a heavier wine is served first, we may not fully appreciate a lighter wine afterward. A light sparkling wine, such as Sparkling Brut is one recommendation for light appetizers. Whether one picks the wine or the appetizer first, it is best to start the dinner out with a lighter, milder wine.
When entering the main course, a heavier, bolder wine is desired. The type of wine will change depending on the dish. However, because your meal is heavier during the main course, generally the wine will be bolder than the previous wine to accommodate the food. Depending on the specific dish, often a Chardonnay, or Cabernet Sauvignon will pair well.
For the dessert course of the meal we step away from the bold wines and introduce the sweeter wines. This new taste one again allows our palate to taste the full flavors of the wine by offering a change from the full bodied wine to a sweeter variety. Offering a glass of Port or Sherry is a popular choice when selecting a wine to pair with a sweet dessert.
With every course there is a wonderful wine that can be paired accordingly. When served in the proper order, every flavor should stand out with each glass from mild to bold.
For more information regarding wine pairing please visit our “Wine Trends” blogs.