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Wine pairings are sometimes viewed as a difficult culinary art reserved only for the experts with enough time to read all the wine literature. But that simply isn’t true. We have compiled 10 interesting things that you probably didn’t know about wine pairings to showcase the fact that it’s not as difficult as it seems.

If you want even more knowledge, try one of our long island vineyard tours and let the experts teach you all about the art of wine pairing.

Did you Know That?

1.      When wine and food are paired together, they are said to create a ‘synergy,’ which is a third flavor beyond the two individual flavors. This is what a lot of people are talking about when they say that pairing wine and food totally changes the experience.

2.      Traditionally, lighter wine is served at the beginning of the meal while the darker wines are reserved for the latter part of the meal. Also, white wine is traditionally served before red, younger wine before older, and dry wines before sweeter wines.

3.      Low-alcohol wines go better with spicy foods. Alcohol enhances the oils that make spicy foods spicier—so by choosing dry, low-alcohol wines you can cut down the kick of spicy foods.

4.      Desserts require lighter wine. By choosing a wine that is less sweet you can avoid overwhelming the sweet taste buds and make dessert last longer. That said, some guests may have a serious sweet tooth that makes them want the sweet wine and the sweet dessert.

5.      Don’t smell the cork. Wine corks actually don’t reveal as much about the wine as much as some people think. If you are handed a cork, it is usually to check the date and for signs of mold or wear on the cork.

6.      A “cork-tease” is a person who often speaks of opening a bottle of wine without actually doing it. Avoid cork-teases by signing up for one of our Long Island vineyard tours where you have access to any bottle of wine you choose.

7.      It’s all about the sauce. People often make the mistake of thinking that wine pairing is more about the meat than the sauces. A great way to get started with wine pairings is to examine the sauces that are used with your meal and different wine options that could enhance or complement the taste of the sauce.

8.      Champagne is for more than weddings. You might be surprised to learn that champagne is actually understood to not even pair with wedding cake! The lightness of champagne can do wonders to cleanse the pallet and it also can be paired with salty snacks very well.

9.      Try pairing regional food with regional wine. It’s been found that pairing wine from a specific region with food from that same region can be a great way to accentuate the flavors found in both the food and the wine. For instance, pasta dishes often go well with Italian wines.

10.  Do what you want. At the end of the meal, what matters is that you enjoy the food and wine that you are consuming. If your way isn’t the same as any of the ways we’ve listed above, that’s totally fine. Wine pairing is, by nature, a subjective art due to the way all people taste differently. So enjoy yourself and have fun trying new pairings!

Want to Learn More?

Watch this instructional video by wine expert Mark Oldman as he talks about wine pairings, foodies, and how to take wine to restaurants.

If you’re interested in wine pairings, our long island vineyard tours are a great way to spend a day getting up close and personal with wine experts. They will teach you all about the way that their wine is made and can be coupled with foods and fit to please everyone’s tastes.

photo credit: myDays / S.Lee via photopin cc