Depending on where you’re from, you may or may not have an innate understanding of how wine and different sorts of food can work together to create something magical. Consider, for example, France: according to Statistic Brain, the country consumes more than 320.6 million gallons of wine every year. It’s wine industry, beginning sometime in the sixth century BCE and exploding after the 18th century revolution, generates more than €6.33 billion every year for the country. To say that the French know their wine, well, that would be a complete understatement.
People across the world understand the knowledge France has, and they understand the quality of French wines. That’s why, more and more frequently, other countries have seen their wine consumption rise, along with their desire to learn about pairing great french wines; the United States, for example, now consumes 2.73 gallons of wine per capita, per year, according to the Wine Institute. Even there, however, many continue to struggle with the idea of properly matching wine with food. If this sounds like you, here are some of the most popular and common pairings of great French wines with delicious food.
Pinot Noir Goes with Savory Foods
Food and Wine Magazine suggests pairing any Pinot Noir wines with earthy, savory dishes. This includes pizzas featuring onions, mushrooms, thyme, and other earth-tones, but it can also include classic Chinese-American dishes, like mushroom chow mein. Many Burgundy wines are made from Pinot Noir grapes, offering light, earthy flavors that go well with similarly profiled dishes.
Chardonnay Will Enliven the Right Seafood
The idea that all white wine goes well with all fish, as Williams and Sonoma writes, is not exactly true. Certain whites will only work with certain fishes. Take Chardonnay, a wine made famous in the Chablis region of France, for example. Chardonnay works extremely well with crab, fish terrine, and Spanish-style ceviche. Red snapper and shark, on the other hand, are meatier and don’t pair well with the delicate body of Chardonnay.
Use Sparkling Wines with Smooth, Creamy Cheeses
Too many people assume that sparkling wines, like Champagne, have to be matched with a celebration or a sickly-sweet dessert, but, au contraire, sparkling wines pair extremely well with many of France’s best cheeses. Brie, a soft, creamy cheese known for its range of flavors, is a lifelong friend of sparkling wines, writes Delish. The semi-sweet flavors of French sparkling wines go a long way to highlight and accentuate the rustic notes of brie.
If you’re sick of finding yourself with separate wines and foods in mind, use these classic combinations to bring the two together. Eventually, you’ll develop a palate that can tell what works well together. From there, you can start making your own pairings. Bon appetit!