If you’ve been working diligently in your kitchen to put together the perfect appetizer recipe for Glorious Bites and have come to realize you know nothing about pairing food and wine then you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help make the enigma that is pairing food with your go to glass of bubbles, the Sonoma Brut, as simple as possible. Pairing wine and food may seem complicated at first but once you break it down you’ll realize how easy (and absolutely worth it) enhancing your wine with food is, or vice versa.
We want to break it down into a few simple steps: understanding the wine, how to pair it (and why it pairs), and final pro tips to utilize so that people with think you’ve been an expert your whole life.
UNDERSTANDING SONOMA BRUT
It is important to know as much as you can about the wine you are working with. Each wine has it’s own flavor profile and mouth feel which can make a world of difference when it comes to pairing it with food. Everything from the grape varietal and the winemaking process to the final wine profile is important.
The Sonoma Brut is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. It is made Méthode Traditionnelle, which means the wine goes through a secondary fermentation inside the bottle to create many tiny and consistent bubbles that can be enjoyed with every sip. Sonoma Brut is dry and acidic with delicate pear and floral notes backed by toasty almond. It also has hints of citrus, toast, and apple flavors. Everything that goes into this wine comes together to create a very versatile wine that is perfect for pairing with food.
HOW TO PAIR WINE
There are two types of food pairing methods for wine, congruent and complementary. Congruent food and wine pairings are very similar in either taste and/or texture so neither the food nor wine will overpower the other piece of the pairing. On the other hand there are complementary pairings; these have few shared compounds but the different compounds help to create a harmonious balance.
Each aspect of the wine must be taken into consideration when pairing it with food. It is important to remember that pairing wine and food leans towards being an art more than a science. Creativity is definitely important but it can also be helpful to follow few simple guidelines rather than to search for a needle in a haystack. Based on a few of the elements of the Sonoma Brut we have broken these down a little bit for you with a few general rules of thumb.
The Sonoma Brut is a Brut style wine, hence the name. Brut style wines are known for their distinct dryness containing no more than 12 grams/liter of residual sugar. However, dry sparkling wines also have a hint of sweetness that makes it an easy pairing with most dishes. Fruit based foods tend to pair well with dry wines along with light seafood, fried foods, and buttery sauces. With dry wines you would likely avoid anything overly sweet
Sonoma Brut is also slightly creamy and very acidic. Acidic wines are clean and crisp, great for resetting taste buds from a bite of rich or “fatty” food, i.e. a rich, buttery sauce or a creamy cheese. On the other end of the spectrum comes pairing acidity with acidity, the acidity in sparkling wine won’t be overpowered by acidic foods but instead keep up the acidity. Acidic foods that pair well would be anything that contains a squeeze of lemon or other splash of citrus.
Not all wines follow the same guidelines when it comes to food pairing and this is especially true for sparkling wines. The bubbles in sparkling wine are quite refreshing and help cleanse the palate between bites so sparkling wines are often much more versatile. Different types of foods that may not normally pair with a still red or white wine may still pair with a glass of bubbles. Salty foods are great for pairing with sparkling wines because it mellows out the acidity and enhances the delicate notes and bubbles of the wine.
TIPS FOR PAIRING LIKE A PRO
Besides taking into consideration the type of foods you should pair with you should also consider how you prepare the food. This is often overlooked when creating food pairing but is important because it can drastically change the taste of what you are cooking. Braised, grilled, roasted and sautéed foods tend to go great with more flavorful and acidic wines such as our Sonoma Brut. The style of cooking can add a lot of flavor to your dish and can help take a food pairing from great to extraordinary.
Another great rule to live by is:
“If it grows together it goes together!”
–Sally Schneider of The Improvisational Cook
This holds true for wine and food pairings especially. The grapes that thrive in certain regions create wines with notes that best pair with traditionally grown foods of the same region. This is because the terroir for both is the same and that greatly affects the different elements of the food. It is the simplest way to ensure an ultimate congruent food pairing. And if all else fails just remember that wine and cheese always make for a mouthwatering combination!
Finally, don’t forget to TRY your food with the wine! Even if you follow advice of all the best wine experts when pairing your food that doesn’t mean you’ll create something magical on your first attempt. Make sure you taste the pairing together before you share it with others. The best way to do that is to take a sip of your wine, take a bite of your dish, and then take another sip of wine. This allows the wine to coat your mouth initially and get your taste buds accustomed to the taste and smell of the wine. Next, when you taste the food make sure you eat it slowly to appreciate the flavors and the texture of the food and how the wine improves that experience. Finally when you take another sip of the wine you can enjoy how the food enhances the wine. If your pairing is successful it should work both ways, the food should bring out the best flavors in the wine and the wine should enhance and complement the taste of the food.
Now that you are an expert at food and wine pairings you should enter your signature appetizer recipe that best pairs with our Sonoma Brut at: GloriousBites.com
Hurry! You only have until September 24th to enter your recipe!
If cooking isn’t your strong suit but you enjoy experiencing incredible appetizer creations paired with our Sonoma Brut then join us at one of our live cook-off events: