Virtually every wedding ceremony has a reception featuring food that was meticulously selected – but it’s rarely paired with the right wine. But that’s actually a good thing because the reality is, there is no “right wine.” While suggested pairings often come from people with a wealth of experience, taste is subjective. It’s always good to try new combinations of food and wine – and what better place than a wedding to find something new that you love?
Branch out and try new food with different wine at your next wedding.
Off-Dry, Meet Spice
Off-dry wines with a low alcohol content, such as Riesling, are perfect for “cutting” spicy dishes. Off-drys not only have a dampening effect on spice, but they can serve as an amazing palate cleanser between courses or even bites. This is a perfect wine for marriage ceremonies that serve traditional Indian food, Latin food or Asian food.
Break the Rules!
As discussed in “Five Delectable Food and Wine Pairings,” the human palate can only distinguish between salty, sweet, sour and bitter. But the larger reality is that the “rules” about wine aren’t universal, and are often adhered to by the masses, who are afraid to go against the grain and run the risk of looking unsophisticated. Break the following rules:
- Meat is always paired with red wine: False. Meat served with heavy, oily sauces such as aioli goes unbelievably well with buttery, fragrant whites like Chardonnay.
- Seafood is always paired with white: Wrong again. Light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir are thin enough not to overpower cuisine that traditionally goes with white wine. Shellfish are a perfect time to go against the grain on this one.
- Dessert should always be served with dessert wine: Two words – sparkling wine. Yes, port, Muscat and Sherry have their place after the entree is finished, but dry Champagne can make almost any dessert sing.
Dessert Wine and Soft Cheese
If the wedding ceremony features a reception with soft cheese, you’re bound to see a whole lot of people pairing it with red wine. Go a step further. Virtually any spreadable cheese pairs amazingly well with tawny port.
Get creative at your next wedding. If you’re a wine lover, don’t be afraid to set a new trend. Every current trend was set by someone who had the gumption to break the previous set of dos and don’ts. Get creative with dessert wines, ignore hard-and-fast rules about red and white wines in relation to fish and red meat, and always follow the only rule that matters – eat and drink whatever tastes good!
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer who covers event planning, parties and weddings.