As the holiday season approaches, you'll likely be shopping for wine to bring to gatherings or serve to your guests. Wine can be a good addition to any meal, but it can be confusing to keep track of the different varieties and which foods they should be paired with. Here's a quick guide to consult before you head to the store:
- Merlot: Known for its drinkability and well-rounded, fruity flavor, Merlot pairs well with almost any dish, but especially with red meats like beef and lamb. Look for notes of blackberry, black cherry and plum.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Merlot's sassier cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon contains more tannin, giving it that subtle back-of-the-throat burn. This variety is aged in oak barrels and can include chocolate, coffee, blackcurrant and cassis flavors. It also pairs well with red meat.
- Pinot Noir: For fruit and berry lovers who don't enjoy the tang of tannin in their wine. This variety blends strong berry flavors with more earthy notes like leather and "damp earth". This wine pairs well with chicken, salmon and vegetable dishes, as well as with red meat.
- Chardonnay: This French white wine is the go-to for pairing with chicken or fish dishes. It has a velvety, citrus-heavy, buttery flavor profile with hints of toast and vanilla.
- Sauvignon Blanc: Tart and fruity, Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing, palate-cleansing addition to meals of seafood and poultry. It can contain smoky, acidic flavors, and always includes sour green fruit flavors like apple, pear and melon.
- Riesling: This sweet, soothing wine, with flavors of honey, green apple and pear, goes well with spicy, oily food, and especially with pork. It can also serve as a dessert wine.
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