For the millions of people who visit Temecula Valley wineries each year, tasting wine on its own proves a richly rewarding exercise that should be repeated throughout the day. However, the best expression of wine usually involves its relation to food. The best Temecula wine tasting tours are the ones both preceded and followed by a meal, and pairing the right wines with the best meals can greatly enhance your enjoyment of both the wine and food.
Temecula Valley wineries tend to keep servers and sommeliers around to help identify the perfect pairing for any dish. But if you have a general idea what to look for in a food wine and food pairing, noticing the ways the two play well together makes both eating and drinking a lot more fun and rewarding. Here are some pairing ideas, and what to taste for.
With something rich
Big savory dishes with robust flavors, such as red meat courses or heavy pastas, overpower delicate wines. California's most ubiquitous red, a cabernet sauvignon, should be bold enough to stand up to bigger flavors, as may a Syrah. Their tannins will express as more refreshing than bitter in contrast with the umami.
With something creamy
Creamy dishes may prefer the complementary texture of a creamy white, which will better highlight the wine's lighter fruit notes to refresh the palate. You'll usually come by a suitable Chardonnay during Temecula wine tasting tour, and plenty a good viognier as well. These will taste especially delicious if there's fatty seafood under that creamy sauce.
With something delicate
Just like a delicate wine doesn't hold up well to rich food, enjoyment of a delicate entrée can be undone by an intensely flavorful beverage. When eating white, flaky fish, for example, try something light such as the Temecula wine tasting tour favorite, Pinot Grigio. Make it a dry one, and a sip after each bite will taste refreshing, without too much residual sweetness to dampen the subtle flavors on your plate.
With something spicy
Spicy food is a staple of Southern California, and it's no different in the Temecula Wine Valley. When eating a spicy dish, tannins will taste more bitter than they need to, so avoid big red wines for something fruitier and more balanced, such as a Zinfandel. If the dish is extremely spicy, consider it an opportunity to enjoy a Riesling; its sweetness here will provide a salve against the heat.
With something salty
Generally, salty dishes don't pair well with a lot of wines — salt is too strong a flavor to let a white wine's nuance shine through, and it makes tannins tough to appreciate. But bubbles do pair well with salt, so a sparkling wine is called for. Several Temecula Valley wineries have taken to producing sparkling whites and rosés, some even adopting the méthode Champenoise, the old world winemaking process responsible for its most famous product, Champagne.
Explore more food and wine pairings with a winery tour in Temecula
Great food makes wine better, and great wine makes food better. Experience both when you take a Temecula wine tasting tour. Contact us today and find out how to make the most of your trip.