With the gorgeous weather we’ve had in San Diego lately, you’d be hard-pressed to find a reason NOT to have a picnic with family or friends. All you need is a picnic blanket, snacks, and the perfect wine. Not to worry, we’ve got a few tips on finding the perfect wine for your picnic.
Your Wine Options
Let’s start with the basics. White wine is a match for fish and chicken because the acids in the wine enhance the taste of the fish. Red wine goes best with red meat for two reasons: it helps soften the proteins in the meat and enhances the fat flavors. However, if the meat or fish dish has a heavy sauce, you’ll need to pair the wine with the sauce, not the meat.
Congruent Pairings vs. Complementary Pairings
If you’re looking for a congruent pairing, then you’ll want to pair sweet wines with sweet foods. For example, a red wine with a buttery aftertaste goes well with a buttery pasta dish. Make sure the food flavors don’t overwhelm the wine, otherwise the wine will seem to taste bland.
Complimentary pairings, on the other hand, help balance the flavors of the food with the flavors of the wine. Rosé ,White, and Sparkling wine are a few options to consider if you want the wine and dish to contrast. You could pair a sweet white wine with a spicy food to allow the sugar in the wine to balance out the spicy flavors of the dish. You could also pair white wine with a salty dish to reduce the sweetness of the wine and bring out the wine’s fruity taste and aroma. A Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio will go well with salty popcorn or fried foods.
Pairing Food With Wines
Here’s a simple guide to pairing picnic foods based on their flavor profile with wine:
Salt – Sparkling wine and sweet wine
Fat – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and acidic wine
Sweet – Sweet wine and dessert wine
Acidic – Sauvignon Blanc and sweet wines
Bitter – Off-dry Riesling, Zinfandel, and acidic wines
Spicy – Sweet wine, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc
Picnic Wine Recommendations
Here are a few popular wines to consider packing for your picnic:
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