Pairing Local Wines with Local Foods Makes for an Easy Wine Pairing Strategy
When choosing wine to pair with a specific dish, it is easier to keep the food as the priority in the pairing. Each culture has their unique food offerings and spices which give similar dishes a new flavor twist. The local food is usually based on a nearby ocean, river or elevated growing zone, but first the food is created for a culture and then to complement the local cuisine the wine is grown.
So when wine enters the pairing picture, it is truly the secondary contender in the equation.
If you can think of wine as an intermediate sauce to be matched with the food, instead of giving it full “drink” status, then you will be well on your pairing way. When it comes to picking the right wine, start with the meal’s cultural origins.
Italy’s Local Wine and Local Food Combos
Is the dish full of flavorful cooked tomatoes from central Italy? What about lasagne, spaghetti or baked ziti? Opt for an Italian Chianti or Chianti Classico from Tuscany. What about a zesty pesto sauce originally from Liguria? Consider a white wine from the Cinque Terre region. Piedmont’s famous truffles finding their way into a recipe? Go with the deep, full-flavors of Barbaresco, one of Piedmont’s exciting red wines.
Local Wine and Local Food Pairings from France
Move on to France, a traditional quiche is an amazing match with a white Burgundy wine or Champagne. In fact, historically-speaking many red wines were fined with egg whites (and often still are), leaving an excess of egg yolks for quick, filling quiche dishes.
If traditional goose pâté is on the plate, opt for a Beaujolais or Sauternes – two very different ends of the French wine spectrum, but reliable regional pairings all the same.
Local Wine and Local Food Options from Germany
A German Wiener Schnitzel with sauerkraut calls for a German Riesling that lies on the drier side. In fact, in Germany Riesling Spätlese is a top pick for all sorts of regional sausages, local trout and fresh salad greens with a light vinaigrette.
Mexican Flare and Flavor with “Local” Wine
When checking out Mexican cuisine with the traditional meat, heat and spice, opt for a wine originating from similar roots, like a Malbec from Argentina. Or beat the heat with a sweeter Riesling wine, from one of Chile’s up and coming cool-climate zones.
Spanish Paella is well-suited for pairings with a Rioja red, with strong Tempranillo tendencies. Or opt for a lighter pairing partner and check out a regional Spanish rosé.
You get the general idea here. Next time you are at a restaurant and the waiter wants to take your wine order before you’ve decided on the meal, ask for a few more minutes and select your food first, then if it’s got clear cut cultural roots, opt for a wine of the same or similar heritage. It is one of the easiest pairing tricks that delivers great results the vast majority of the time.
By Stacy Slinkard, ABoutFood