SALOON WINE AND FOOD PAIRING

Hello there wine connoisseurs!  Welcome back to our series about wine, where we get to the good stuff, pairing Sisters Saloon wine and food.  If you read the previous posts about wine basics and the nine wine styles, you have gotten your feet (and throat) wet.  Now we are going to take the plunge into pairing two of your favorite things, wine and food!  Sure, you have other favorite things, but this is a family restaurant!

Pairing food and wine can be so complex, folks go to school for years.  But, all you want is to eat and drink things that taste good together, and maybe impress your restaurant companion, right?  So, let’s get on with it.

CONGRUENT PAIRING VERSUS CONTRASTING PAIRING

Sounds like a dating service algorithm, but we are going to chunk it down.  Foods have six basic flavors to think about.They are: SALT, ACID, SWEET, BITTER, FAT and SPICE.  Wine, unlike food, does not include the tastes of fatty, spicy and salty, but includes acidity, sweetness and bitterness.   I bet you can guess that red wines have more bitterness, white wines have more acidity, and sweet wines… you got it, more sweetness!  See, wasn’t that simple?

Think about food (I am always thinking about food, aren’t you?):  Is the food acidic, like a salad with balsamic vinaigrette?  Is the food light, maybe a Saloon Cobb Salad or rich, like Nana’s Chicken Pot Pie?  You get the idea….  Now, think about the wine:  Is it light, like Sauvignon Blanc, which is also acidic?  Maybe the wine is more full bodied, like Chardonnay, but less acidic. From there, we can start matchmaking:

COMPLEMENTARY PAIRING

Complementary pairing:  You know the old adage, “opposites attract”?  That’s the idea here, sort of.  An acidic wine like Pinot Grigio will complement a creamy high fat sauce like a béchamel or like our Pot Pie.  This is a complementary pairing.

CONGRUENT PAIRING

Congruent pairing looks for a wine that will add to the flavor component of the food rather than contrast with it.  Think paint, some colors look great together because of contrast and others because they blend together. A congruent pairing for Nana’s Pot Pie might be with a Chardonnay; the creamy flavor enhances the creamy food.

SISTERS SALOON FOOD AND WINE PAIRING

Which wine should I order with my Sisters Saloon Red Rock burger?  You know the one, great local beef topped with pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, and jalapenos….  this taste bud sizzler will pair well with a wine that adds a touch of sweetness to balance the spice, like a sweeter German Riesling (think complementary pairing).  The Riesling has enough acidity to act as a palate cleanser, too.

What about a great wine to pair with my Sisters Saloon pan seared Ruby Red Trout, prepared with sweet butter, roasted tomato and a toasted almond sauce?  A great choice here is a citrusy wine like Sauvignon Blanc.  Or, to pair with the almond sauce, a smooth Chardonnay will go down like silk.  These might be congruent pairings, depending on the wine.

Let’s not forget a Saloon favorite, bread pudding, house made of course.  A nice dry Semillon will be a great complement to your warm and sweet dessert.  If you are in the mood, champagne sparkling wine is magnificent with bread pudding too, a congruent pairing.

Share your favorites in the comments below, so everyone will have something new to try.  Cheers!

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