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5 Rules to Follow When Pairing Wine and Southern Food

Pairing Southern food with wine may seem complicated at first, but it is a great way to enjoy a more pleasurable dining experience. While it may take a little bit of practice, the more you experiment, the easier it will become. You will be amazed at how well wine can pair with even barbecue. If you don’t know much about wines, check out this great red wine guide to have your bases covered.

Keep pairs to a similar weight

One general rule that you should follow when pairing all wine and food is the overall weight of each. This refers to the style and body of the food, not how much the dish actually weighs. For example, a lighter white wine such as Pinot Blanc can go great with a blackened catfish, while something like Shiraz suits a chicken pot pie or hamburgers

Look for flavor links

Similar food and wine complement each other, so when choosing a dish or bottle, try and find some links. For example, something with a bit of a kick can go well with a bold, spicy wine, while a citrus option can be great with lemon and fish. That being said, you should be careful of pairing sweet and sweet together, as it can quickly become overwhelming. A dessert like peach cobbler is best suited with a dry riesling due to the acidity and fruity flavors. 

A wise idea is to head to your local wine shop or online to a wine store so that you can taste a selection of different options. The more your test, the easier it will be to pair with the right foods. 

Consider the acidity

Acidity plays an important factor in pairing, as it can be used to cleanse the palate and cut the richness of certain foods. The last thing you want is to have two completely overwhelming flavors fighting in your mouth. For instance, a great choice is to pair brisket with something like a Pinot Noir.

To learn more about different wines, consider visiting a vineyard or winery to expand your knowledge. Have a look at winemaking in the Tuscan South to get started. There are so many beautiful locations to choose from.

Pair with the sauce in mind

Get the recipe for Cheerwine Spareribs.

Alongside pairing with the weight of both items in mind, you should also consider the meal’s sauce, as this can be one of the most dominant flavors. For example, a creamier sauce that you may find on biscuits can go well with a buttery Chardonnay, while the fruitiness of a banana pudding can suit a glass of sparkling champagne or a rich red. It’s all about balance, but you should never be nervous. There is no wrong pair.

Don’t be afraid to match opposites 

While congruent pairs often share the same compounds, complementary/\contrasting pairings should also be considered. Sometimes things that are opposite can come together to create a great combination. For instance, fatty and crispy fried chicken served with bubbly will make almost anyone’s palate happy.
By following the above advice, you can create an incredible Southern meal to enjoy with friends or family.

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