The art of pairing is a relationship between what you eat and what you drink – a marriage of flavors. You look for one to complement the other, making the two better together...and the perfect union derives from the senses.
There are a few things to consider when you are pairing wine. First, listen to your senses. The aroma of a wine can tell you a lot about its flavor profile and also about the food you should enjoy it with, before you even take a sip. Next, we taste. Try your food and wine separately, then taste them together to see if it enriches the experience.
Although it is said that seafood plates go better with white wine, not all white grapes are the same. Pairing also depends on the cooking technique,
the sauces, sides and their ingredients to determine the best marriage. It’s not about red or white anymore. Everything changes when you have a creamy sauce, sweet versus spicy, or citrus versus tomato. And adding ingredients like fruits and bacon only make things more complex. You can experiment to find out what grapes, what regions and what wines go best with different recipes.
I have picked a few of my favorite Bumble Bee Seafoods recipes and paired them with the wines I enjoy, to show just how versatile wine and seafood pairings can be.
This Italian-inspired salad is full of flavor, from olive oil to garlic, basil, grilled corn and premium tuna. Try it with a white wine from the Vermentino grape of the Sardinia region in Italy. They are inexpensive and help you escape from a regular white wine routine. A second option is a Rosé from Provence, France. These wines are elaborated with an ensemble of grapes from the region. Both are refreshing and meant to be enjoyed chilled, plus they’re easy to find!
This Peruvian plate demands a white wine. A Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand or Sancerre in France would accentuate the epicurean experience of this recipe’s Asian-inspired flavors. If you prefer a more delicate pairing you could try an Albariño from Galicia, Spain. It’s compared with wines from the Riesling grape but it’s much more delicate and round. If you’re looking for a third option, try a wine from the Torrontés grape in Argentina. It is delicate and similar in style to Albariños.
lthough it’s not always common, some recipes deserve to be paired with wines from their same cultural region. This Italian Pasta Carbonara with tuna, broccolini and bacon, for example, pairs exceptionally well with a red wine from Chianti in Tuscany, Italy. Another option is a similar red referred to as a Super Tuscan, previously known as the “table wine” from Tuscany. These wines, surprisingly enough, are not named for their grape but, rather, for their region. You might find a Chianti that is made from 70 to 100 percent Sangiovese grape, and likely combined with one or two more grapes from the local region.
Wines are diverse and unique, and their characteristics always tell a story. The next time you’re standing in front of the wine section, don’t be afraid! Read the labels and you’ll start to recognize regions, grapes and brands you like. You’ll become your very own connoisseur in no time!