Just as beautiful evenings are better with great friends, so fine wines make good food even better. The trick is in finding a wine that brings out the flavors of the food—even, and some would say especially, pizza! Pairing perfectly is a little bit art, a little bit science, and a whole lot of fun. Here are some party foods and the wines that love them.
Parmigiano Reggiano and Figs
Parmigiano Reggiano is nutty, salty, and satisfying. Figs are subtly sweet and so elegant. Separate or together, they work well with wine－figs, more-so with whites like Sauvignon Blanc (which often has its own figgy flavor)－and Parmigiano with almost any wine. You simply cannot go wrong with these two classics.
Dips and the foods we dip in them might just be the most popular party food. No party is complete without at least one－and it won't last long!
- Pair light, herb-flecked dips and veggies like endives and sugar snap peas with whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and unoaked Chardonnay.
- Serve cheesy dips and crackers or meats beside fuller-bodied wines, like Voignier, oaked Chardonnay, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the summertime, there's nothing like biting into a sweet, buttery ear of corn－and corn is likely to show up at plenty of summer meal gatherings. Serve it simply with Chardonnay, which is no stranger to buttery flavor. Or, spice your corn up with chipotle-lime butter and pair it with a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.
For meat-eaters, there's no bigger crowd-pleaser than steak. And for steak, there's no better partner than Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet packs loads of deliciously potent, mouth-drying tannins. And hearty steak, with its luxurious texture, is the perfect antidote. The result is a much smoother-tasting wine, with dazzling fruit flavors singing forth in a way they otherwise couldn't.
Time for dessert! Pairing chocolate with wine can be tricky. You need to choose just the right wine to complement the sweetness of chocolate, instead of stand in too-sharp contrast. A tawny or vintage port is slightly sweeter than very dark chocolate or truffles, and is a luxurious way to linger over dessert.