The Best Dishes to Serve at a Wine Pairing and Tasting Event


Hosting a regular dinner party is so last season. Summer is here and it’s time to bring out the booze – but in a classy way, of course. Hosting a wine pairing (or tasting) event is a great way to spice up your regular hosting habits and show off your knowledge too.

This article will give you a few good ideas of which dishes you could serve with different types of wine, so keep reading if you need any tips or advice for your first pairing.

Red Wines

Red wines like a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Pinot Noir or a Shiraz are always best paired with bolder, richer foods. They hold darker, more mature flavours and are best served alongside red meats. A good example of a dish to serve is a roasted leg of lamb or even a grilled steak – with the fat on, of course.

When butchering your meat, you’ll want to make sure you use high-quality knives sharpened properly with a whetstone to ensure a clean cut and a smooth, precise look. When serving a meaty dish like this, you can still lighten things up with a fresh side dish like a salad, since you don’t want your meal to be overbearingly heavy.

White Wines

We all know that a white wine pairs with a seafood dish in a heavenly way – they truly are a match made in heaven. Consider a dish like pan-seared scallops and pasta to go with a Chardonnay or perhaps a pork dish or something slightly spicy to go with a more semi-sweet drink such as a Riesling.

With white wines, you’ll need to keep in mind how delicate your wine and your meal might be. There’s a risk of one overpowering the other if the acidity is too high, so be sure to taste test everything and plan your flavours carefully before serving.

Sparkling Wines

If you want your tasting to be a little out of the box, consider hosting a morning event – such as a brunch. Pastries and sparkling wine go together like peanut butter and jelly, or perhaps more like croissants and Dom Pérignon.

Remember that your sweet dishes are great for wine pairings too. Think about fruity flavours in dishes like a peach cobbler or a strawberry cheesecake. These will typically pair well with dry white wines, and a deep, rich, chocolatey dessert will be heavenly next to a glass of Merlot.

Extra Tips

If none of these particular dishes tickles your fancy, that’s okay. By understanding flavour profiles and combination techniques, you’ll be able to identify ways to match up the perfect wine with any meal you feel like serving.

It’s a good idea to do a trial run of your pairings before the actual event. In this way, you’ll be able to assess the flavours in your dishes, check for umami, bitterness, saltiness, greasiness and spiciness and figure out if your pairing options work or not – before you serve a disaster pairing to your guests.


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