Though there are general standards for wine and food parings you can go against those and do whatever suits you and suits your palate. Since everybody’s taste is different not many will like the pairings that are established as proper but there is no need to worry as no one can force you to drink something with a certain type of food if you would rather not. If you are planning an event you may want to know what the appropriate pairings are to maintain a certain level of prestige for your gathering. Here are a couple guidelines to follow.
The first guideline is to drink your wines from light to dark. This means that at the beginning of the meal you want to drink wines with lighter tastes and those with the heavier tastes towards the end. So you would have Champagne with your appetizer and with the opening courses of the meal. White wine can be used for salads and other light dishes and you can save the red wine for the main course that contains heavy meat and sauces. Towards the end of the meal and with desert you can have a port.
There are different rules from different countries though. For instance French people may find the same wine that a German finds dry as sweet. They type of food you grew up on also has an impact on what type of wine will taste right with what food. So people who grew up eating spicy foods as opposed to mainly pasta and potatoes will judge the tastes of wines differently.
There are various charts that you will find that pair specific food items with different types of wines. You will find charts for white wine food pairings, red wine food pairings and sparkling wine food pairings. So deciding what wine to serve with your meal may not be as easy as you think unless you just choose the first thing that you are offered in this case drinking form lighter to heavier tastes.
You don’t have to go with any particular rule as was mentioned before but you can instead chose a wine that goes best with the tastes of the food you will be preparing. When choosing wine and food pairings you want to ensure that you don’t choose a light wine with heavy food as the food will overpower the wine and vice versa.
You can also use a sweet wine to balance out the spicy taste of a certain meal item or vice versa. Some schools of thought suggest you pair like tastes such as an apple tasting wine with an apple tasting desert. You can try either method and see how each works to find which method you prefer.
If all else fails just ensure you have varieties of cheese at your gathering. Even if it is not a wine and cheese event this gives persons attending the opportunity to find the taste that suits them. If you can afford you can also provide varieties of wine so that they can choose the wines they wish to have with each meal.