The Second Date: A guide to pairing when wining and dining.

Sommelier or casual admirer, everyone can appreciate a good wine, but sometimes wine alone isn’t enough to impress a newly found love interest. It may need that extra flair of flambéed scallops, or just a touch of spice from a thai curry. Either way you can’t wine and dine with just the wine, so here are some quick tips on making the perfect match for your wine on your dinner date.

The 2 Cs: 2 terms you need to know for pairing success.

The first ‘C’ we will be discussing is ‘Congruent’. Congruent pairings share similar chemical structures with each other, and create a palette that warmly embraces the flavour of the food and wine. The most common indicator of this type of pairing is congruent with a dish is the colour; red meats pair with red wines, white meats pair with white wines. Simple, just as dating should be. Next is congruent’s partner in crime, contrast, which as the name implies, means using antonymous flavours to scintillate the senses. Although it may be tricky at first to discern which wine is a direct contrast to a dish, with your newly found wine tasting skills you’ll find the right Syrah for your salmon and impress your Pinot partner.

If it grows together, it goes together.

By in large, most wine varieties are grown with the local cuisine in mind, so that bottle of old Italian Pinot Grigio was destined to be paired with a chicken pesto, and the Spanish Rioja longs to be reunited with some sliced chorizo. Let this simple trick reveal your cultured side and take your date on a taste adventure from the intimacy of your home.

If you’re stuck in a dilemma, sparkling wine pairs with almost everything.

There you are, table set, beef wellington coming along nicely. You glance into the fridge and there it is; the empty slot in fridge the door where your bottle of Napa Cabernet should be.
In your moment of dating despair remember this tip! To add that extra level of culinary glamour to your dish, sparkling wine is a good failsafe. The light and stimulating texture of the bubbles can help clear your palette after a hearty meal, whilst the citrus tones can add the extra sparkle to a lighter entrée.

Sweet wines get you through spicy times

Due to the high acidity of sweeter wines (such as Riesling), it can easily reduce the amount of residual fats and proteins such as capsicum, and allow you to retain your composure, even in the hottest of dates.

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