How to Pair Wine with Food
Consider the following match ups for red wines:
|Red Varietal||Appetizers||Main Course||Dessert|
|Cabernet Sauvignon||Sharp or smokey cheeses, beef taquitos, fried mushrooms.||Beef, duck, lamb or venison.||Dark and bittersweet chocolate|
|Merlot||Antipasto, aged cheeses.||Veal, Italian sausage, salmon, tuna, eggplant||Raspberry, cherry or other dark berry desserts|
|Zinfandel||Seared Ahi tuna, spicy chicken or beef tenders||Barbeque, tomato sauce, spicy sausage, duck and beef||Dark berry desserts, carrot cake|
|Malbec||Creamy cheeses, roasted vegetables.||Beef, veal, turkey w/dressing, lamb, chili||Berry tart, milk chocolate cake, crème brulee|
|Syrah||Bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, tampenade.||Ham, lamb, pasta with tomato sauce, pizza, barbeque||Cherry pie, chocolate mousse|
Here are some pairing suggestions for white wines:
|White Varietal||Appetizers||Main Course||Dessert|
|Chardonnay||Scallops, mild cheeses, and bruschetta||Chicken, cream based sauces, pork and seafood||Cheesecake, light fruit|
|Sauvignon Blanc||Oysters, crab cakes, mushrooms, artichoke dip||Sea bass, lobster, chicken, shrimp, trout||Sorbet, key lime pie, lemon meringue pie|
|Pinot Gris||Chicken quesadillas, ahi tuna tartare, antipasto||Risotto, grilled chicken, lobster, white sauces, crab||Petit fours, apple tart|
|Riesling||Calamari, steamed clams, creamy chesses||Roasted chicken, grilled pork, baked ham||Light cakes, cream based pie, baked apples|
Drink the Wine You Love!
First Rule: Always drink what you like!
Second Rule: Try and not let the wine overwhelm the food or vice- versa. Allow the subtle flavor and aromatic nuances of the wine to enhance the food and the overall dining experience.
How many calories are in a glass of wine? Of course that varies depending on the vintner and the type or class of wine, but a good average is around 80-100 calories per four-ounce glass.
Sulfites and Headaches: Myth Busting
Most wines contain sulfites, except for ones that are specifically labeled “sulfite free.” Yeast, used in the production of wine, naturally produces sulfites during the fermentation process. Winemakers also add sulfites to wine to prevent microorganisms from growing.
Sulfites may also be found in baked goods, soup mixes, jams, molasses, grape juice, pickled foods, bottled lemon and lime juice, sea foods, maraschino cherries, and dried fruit. If you’re concerned about sulfites in your foods, check the package for these ingredients: sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or potassium metabisulfite.
In short, sulfites in wine have been researched extensively — and the resounding conclusion is that sulfites in either red or white wine do not cause headaches.
About 20 years ago the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that about 1% of the population is allergic to sulfites and required that wines containing certain levels of the compound be labeled “contains sulfites.” Many people have assumed, incorrectly, that the labeling is designed to warn people who get a red wine headache. In fact, sulfite sensitivity is a true allergy. Sufferers experience an allergic reaction, but not a headache.
Many people may be sensitive to histamines. These are naturally produced chemicals, and are in wines. Histamines are more concentrated in red wines than whites, so you might try switching to whites.
Some experts say that the tannins in the red wine are at the root of the headaches. Tannins are the flavonoids in wine and are also present in chocolate and tea because of their coloring effect. Again though, no direct connection in causing headaches.
Is there Relief?
Some people report that taking an anti-drowsy antihistamine before drinking red wine helps to prevent the headaches, and does not cause drowsiness. Another possibility is taking an aspirin. Personally I am fond of enteric coated aspirins because they do not bother my stomach. However, I’m not a physician and this should not be construed as medical advice.
Yet for most people who suffer from red wine headaches, the theories are irrelevant. They want to know what to do about the problem. And don’t confuse wine headaches with the headache that comes after a full evening of drinking. That’s called a hangover. The solution is to try to find a wine that doesn’t cause you a headache and stick to it. If the wine is going to affect you, it will probably do so in about 15 minutes.