Friday, October 11, 2013

How-To: Pair Wine with Spices

When talking about pairing wines with a meal, we usually focus on the main ingredient. But sometimes you can consider pairing your meal based on the spices that have been used to prepare it.
  • A hearty, sweet or semi-sweet Riesling can soothe the tongue when you have an exceptionally hot (spicy) dish.
  • Many Italian red wines have herbal notes that will match the classical Italian cooking herbs.
  • The peppery notes in Shiraz and Malbec will perfectly match meats that have been seasoned simply, with salt and pepper. (but, let's hope you never find a wine that has "salt" as a descriptor!)
  • Crisp, fruity and floral whites like Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc go well with the complicated layers of spice in many Eastern (think Thai) dishes.
  • A nice port or late-harvest wine would go well with "dessert" spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

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