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How to Pair Wine With Holiday Food

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There is a simple definition for wine and food pairing. Pairing is much like match making. The concept behind pairing is to complement food by pairing it with wine that accentuates its flavor. However, pairing can focus on the wine as the subject—in which it is combined with food that enhances its flavor.

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Either way pairing requires balance of two entities. Keep in mind that everyone’s pallet is different, pairing and tastes are subjective. While one wine drinker may taste the artichoke in Chianti wine—another wine drinker may taste the oak.

Wines are placed in three categories—light, medium, or heavy. Chianti is considered a medium red wine and is typically paired best with poultry and spicy dishes.

Pairing food and wine tips

Heavy red wines generally consist of syrah, brunello, cabernet sauvignon, and barolo. The general consensus is that heavy red wines pair best with heavy foods. Light wines generally consists of pinot gris, pinot blanc, riesling, sauvignon blanc, Chablis, champagne and sparkling wines such as gruner veltliner, and vinho verde. Lighter wines generally pair best with light foods.

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