Wine and Food Pairing 101: Preparing You for Your Wine Country Visit
Pairing wine is like learning a foreign language. Not only do you need to know the various types of wines and grapes out there, but you also need to understand their flavor undertones, regions, and what foods they work best with.
While it takes years to become a true sommelier (including a formal education), here are a few beginner-friendly tips so that you can pick up great bottles of wine and bring them home for your taste fest:
- Chardonnay: Chardonnays are dry wines, but some have a vanilla undertone. Use these white varieties to go along with chicken, halibut, salmon, and even mild cheese dishes.
- Sauvignon Blanc: Another white wine, the Sauvignon Blanc is lighter, crisp, and has herbal notes along with fruity tastes. It works best with poultry and is excellent for shellfish.
- Champagne: Champagne can be dry, and because it is often a blend of a few wines, it works better with seafood, eggs, and oysters. If you have sweeter champagne, use it with fruit and cheese platters over the dry varieties.
- Gamay: Gamay is a light red wine that works great as a starter; therefore, use it with your salad or a poultry dish without cream-based sauce.
- Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is a luscious red wine with low acid, making it a good pairing for chicken, lamb, and even sushi.
- Merlot: Merlot is a dry red that is perfect if you are new to red wines. It has rich flavors of plum and cherry, which makes it pair well with hearty dishes like duck, game, pork, lamb, and sharp varieties of cheese.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: High-fat dishes are cut down with the acidity of the Cabernet. It has fruity notes with a leather-like earthiness to it as well. It works best with beef, pork, and any variety of sharp
Now that you know the basics, visit a tasting room in Napa Valley and try these varieties for yourself. You can also visit one of the many restaurants in Napa Valley that have expert-curated wine lists made to suit the fresh, local menu.
To stay close to the best tasting rooms and food in Napa Valley, book your stay at the boutique Napa Valley Hotel and Suites.
Our past guests loved their stay, and here is what they say about our hotel:
- “It’s right downtown in Napa, walking distance to all restaurants and places of interest.”
- “Super friendly and helpful staff.”
- “Our room was clean and quiet. The hotel is centrally located.”
Enjoy a downtown stay by booking with Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Reserve your Napa hotel room online or call us at 707-226-1871.