How good is a meal that isn’t paired with the right kind of beverage? We show you how to pair your grub with the perfect drink that will help you max the deliciousness of your regular meal.
In our world, there are some people who simply eat and drink to survive, and then there are others who find themselves on this page, wanting to know about the fine art of food pairing. On the other hand, the unenthusiastic are bound to be outraged with the big deal made out of nothingness. After all, don’t you just have to eat what you like and drink what you like?
Well, yes. But let’s consider for instance if you’ve wondered why certain wedding cakes have a distinct mulch-esque taste to it? Have you ever wondered if the champagne that you drank with it could have clashed with the cake’s flavor? Indeed it could have. Deceptive pairings like this one can assault your palate with their not-meant-to-go-together tastes. What results is an aversion to two seriously likable food and drink items, albeit not together. And this is exactly what brings us to the divine concept of food pairing, because when deliciousness is at stake, everyone stands up and takes notice.
Having said this, I must concede that subjectivity has a huge role to play when it comes to pairing food with the right drink. So, be open to experiment and go wild choosing the combination that you think is the best. Yes, we’re all aware of the basics of pairing, but a little attention to detail is what elevates a good meal to a heavenly one.
The Classic Pairs
… with beef
When you have a wine that drowns your senses in the spicy, rich taste of black currants, you need an accompaniment that matches its headiness. A beef steak fits the bill almost perfectly, and so do braised short ribs.
… with cheese
As an ode to the strong flavor of, let’s say the Cabernet Sauvignon, the best cheese would be the equally formidable brie, camembert, strong cheddar or Danish blue. Always remember to match the richness of the wine to the cheese.
.. with roast meat
Very few things in this world can match the homeliness of the Thanksgiving roast turkey and a light red like the Beaujolais or even the Pinot Noir. These fruity reds compliment the herb-laden stuffing of the turkey like nothing else.
… with creamy pasta
It really pays off well to match your food with your drink in terms of the color. Pair your creamy, melt-in-the-mouth shellfish pasta with a Chardonnay, and you’ll understand this better.
… with oysters
Oysters make for an excellent starter, and the Pinot Blanc will bring out its taste really well. While we’re discussing starters, crab cakes are a very good option to pair with a Light Sauvignon Blanc.
… with caviar
As far as legendary food and drink pairings go, champagne and caviar top the list. While we may not always have access to a bottle of Dom Pérignon and a serving of Beluga caviar, do remember to pick a dry champagne to go with caviar, and raise a toast to champagne wishes and caviar dreams!
… with pizza
The beer and pizza combination might be offensively unhealthy, but it doesn’t make any difference to its royal fans. If there’s anything that makes this combination taste better, it’s a football match on ESPN.
… with nachos
Nachos, with their cheesy, salty taste pair well with a golden ale beer and are easy to include in any party menu. As a matter of fact, the nachos can easily be replaced by anything that’s deep-fried and salty.
… with barbecue
Barbecue and beer are perpetual summer specials when the sweltering heat of the day gives way to breezy evenings. This is one combination you can never go wrong with, though everyone has their favorite, barbecued meats taste better with pale ales.
The Cocktail Pairs
… with shashlik
One usually thinks of pairing cheese crackers with a regular martini, but since we’re speaking of its Russian variant, its appropriate partner is the shashlik.
Shashlik is a Russian spin on barbecue, so it won’t be too nice to wash it down with anything except vodka.
… with quesadillas
Being Mexican, what else would a margarita taste best with except Mexican food?
So bring on the crudités, tortillas and tacos, make a pitcher full of margarita, and don’t forget the salsa dip! It’s a great way to spend an evening with friends.
… with pork ribs
The New Fashioned cocktail is whiskey-based, which tastes best with pork ribs.
But make sure that the ribs are not soaked in spice-laden sauces, as that messes the taste of the whiskey. Always keep the meat simple, and relish!
The Best-loved Pairs
Milk and Oreos
Yes, milk’s favorite cookie also ranks high on everyone’s preferences. And how could it possibly not? A glass of cold milk, a stack of chocolaty oreo cookies; you can’t ask for a better midnight snack, especially when you’ve run out of ice cream!
Cherry Coke and Burger
What could be termed as a potential catastrophe for your arteries has to taste divine; just like this cherry coke and burger combo. Why the cherry coke, you ask? That’s because it works well for me! Feel free to pick your favorite cola to go with your favored burger.
Quintessentially British, this custom deserves a mention due to its sheer elaborateness and the fact that it’s slowly disappearing out of our lives. Cucumber or smoked salmon sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, fruit cakes and finally, cream tea … ah! A taste of the good life!
Coffee and Cake
Coffee and cakes have a charm of their own, and we need to be reminded of it as we usually tend to have our coffee on the run. In fact, the practice of takeaway coffee must be discouraged to let people meet and greet over a hot cup of coffee and a plate of cakes accompanied by some juicy gossip.
Orange Juice and Oatmeal
This one’s for the health freaks, and come to think of it, the sinners too. This is one combination that has the power to save you from that quadruple bypass surgery, if you’ve made a habit of consuming all the combos mentioned above with regularity, although it is sure to make your taste buds rebel.
It was Mark Twain who said, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” Most of the food and drinks mentioned here are categorized as sinfully unhealthy, but there are certain healthy fast food drinks out there, as are nutritious meals. All you need to do is, to reserve the ones mentioned here for special occasions and eat healthy otherwise. Bon appetit!