Enjoying a glass of beer, wine, or a cocktail with dinner can be a flavorful and relaxing experience. The best way to ensure a great taste combination is to consider the most prominent ingredients in both the food and drink and match them accordingly. For example, white wine goes well with most chicken or fish while pairing red wine with steak is a common combination.
Below are several tips for those trying to perfect the art of pairing specific types of food with alcoholic beverages.
Consider the Acidity Level
Acid, such as the natural citruses found in lemon and lime, provides quick refreshment and pairs well with salad, seafood, and any type of heavier food such as chow mein or pasta prepared with cream sauce. Citrus-based drinks, including a classic daiquiri, greyhound, or mojito, can make an excellent cocktail option with these types of food. For diners who prefer wine, pinot grigio, Verdicchio, or Vermentino can each help to make the meal.
Drink Options for Spicy Food
When the food is hot, reaching for the right cocktail can make all the difference in whether it goes down easily or not. While some cocktails can make the hot, spicy flavor of certain foods worse, others can make it more enjoyable. The Russian Qualude is one such example. It takes its improperly spelled name from the prescription drug Quaalude and includes a high dairy content. With regular cream and Irish cream as the main ingredients, the Russian Qualude also includes coffee liqueur, hazelnut liqueur, and vodka to offset the cream content.
When selecting a beer, consider a Mexican Bulldog. It combines the flavor of margaritas with the soothing and smooth flavors of a genuine Mexican lager. This drink goes especially well with picante chiles rellanos.
Chinese Food and Alcoholic Beverages
Rich, spicy, and soft are just some of the descriptive words that come to mind when considering Chinese food. Even so, many American don’t realize just how diverse this type of cuisine can be. According to a top sommelier in the Seattle area, German Riesling wine pairs well with just about any Asian meal. It tastes especially delicious when paired with Szechuan and Sichuan food due to the spiciness. Matching the spiciness of the meal to the sugar content in the wine is usually a foolproof way to get the flavors to match up just right.
Know the Alcohol Level Before Ordering a Drink
The higher the alcohol content, the more likely it is the drink will make spicy foods taste even more intense. Beer or one of the wines or cocktails above make the best choice in this situation. If the dish is more on the salty side, a sweet drink helps to balance the flavor better. Rum and Coke, Chenin blanc, or off-dry Riesling can all make good choices for dishes where salty and spicy rule.
Keep Trying Until the Flavor Combination is Just Right
It can feel frustrating to look forward to a food and beverage combination only to miss the mark. The only way to find the perfect combination is to keep experimenting, which most people won’t mind at all.