Which wines are good for sipping and which are great with food?
Wine and food are a match made in heaven: that’s a fact.
But not all wines require a partner to express themselves at their best.
Some thrive with a juicy steak or a delicious pizza; others are just great for sipping and the perfect companion for a book, a good movie or some music.
My question is: are you really able to choose which wines taste better with food and which wines are great on their own just for sipping?
Surely there are some generic info out there that may come to help, for example, it is well known that very tannic reds are great with rich preparations because they can cleanse your palate. Whites with high acidity do something similar with oily food. Wines with high alcohol content may require something to counterbalance their warmth.
But let’s try to go into more detail…
White wines for sipping
Fun and aromatic whites such as the Argentian Torrontes or the Italian fizzy Prosecco, are certainly the ideal choice as aperitif, especially on a hot summer day spent by the swimming pool or in the garden.
For a great thirst quenching white with good minerality and depth, that can easily stand on its own, you can choose a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or a Spanish Albarino.
White wines to pair with food
From the fruity and tropical ones coming from warm climate regions, to the elegant and ever lasting Burgundy ones. Chardonnay is always a wine that offers body and flesh, that work best when paired with some food.
WINE PICKER TOP PICKS:
- Try the Amalaya Blanco for a citrusy blend of Torrontes and Riesling.
- A Kim Crawford Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc for an explosive immersion into tropical flavours.
- A Martin Codax Albarino to experience the varietal purity of this Spanish grape.
Plenty of choice among the Chardonnays, here is a couple of my favourites:
- De Loach, `Heritage Collection` Chardonnay
- Laroche Chablis.
Best red wines for sipping
Talking about red wines, probably most people would think they should all be matched with food. Let me tell you a secret: that’s not true.
Indeed, for example, a French Beaujolais, maybe even slightly cooled, can offer a delightful fruity intensity while, if you like your red big and bold, you should probably try an Argentinian Malbec. With its deep juiciness, it will be great on its own on a winter evening.
On the other side of the world, and more specifically in the South West of France, the same grape variety produces excellent and tannic red wines with a complex concentration of hearty and tobacco aromas. This wine works better when paired with some meat such as duck, for example.
And what about Pinot Noir? Well, this grape creates among the most long-lived wines that can also develop an intriguing complexity of aromas and flavors that are perfect for sipping.
Red wines for food pairing
On the other hand, though, grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo or Sangiovese produce essentially deep, sturdy, intense wines with important tannins and high alcohol content. These are wines that need company, a big juicy steak, a warm stew or any saucy meat dish.
WINE PICKER TOP PICKS:
- Experience classic Mendoza with the Valentin Bianchi, `Finca Los Primos` Malbec
- Analyse the differences with a French Malbec trying the Château de Chambert Cahors.
In Wine Picker, our mobile wine app we suggest you to explore the wines of Canada with
- Bachelder 20 Mile Bench Niagara Pinot Noir.
- And definitely taste the Poderi Aldo Conterno `Il Favot` for robust Nebbiolo tannins.