Top Food and Winter Wine Pairings

14/02/2022 | Uncategorised

Winter is well established, the fireplace is lit, the hands are refrigerated. Yes, but winter also rhymes with generous and convivial meals with family or friends: raclette, fondue, pot au feu, tartiflette and many other delicious dishes…

But what wines to associate with these typical winter meals? Red wines or white wines?

Don’t worry, we’re here to offer you the best food and wine pairings of winter!

So if you want to know everything about the wines to taste this winter, continue this article! 

Happy reading

Cheese-based recipes:

La Raclette – La fondue Savoyarde

First of all we will focus on the famous winter dishes based on cheese… French gastronomy delights us with its many cheeses that can be found in raclette, Savoyard fondue etc …

But what wine to drink with a raclette or fondue? 

The cheeses used in raclette or Savoyard fondue are usually Tomme de Savoie or Emmental

Did you know: why does raclette have this name? The name of this dish comes from the main ingredient: cheese. Originally, raclette is the name given to cheese cut into half a wheel that we heat and come to flow on our plate by scraping on the surface with the help of a “raclette“. 

These dishes are already quite fatty between cheese and cold cuts so avoid weighing down the meal even more with an imposing wine. A note of acidity in the wine can balance the fat of the cheese. 

In general, we will opt more for a white wine than a red wine. But this is not an absolute rule, it is necessary for all tastes. So let’s see which white wine and which red wine works best for these cheese-based meals. 

Here the rule of the agreement food and wine of region works particularly. This rule is one of the 4 main rules of food and wine pairings:

  • By region
  • Complementarity agreements
  • By color
  • Similarity agreements
White wines:

For raclette or Savoyard fondue, both Savoy specialties, they would be well combined with a Savoy wine such as a Chignin or a Roussette de Savoie. These dry white wines, which we prefer young to keep their freshness, will go very well with these cheese dishes. The acidity of the wine balances the more sickening side of the processed cheese. 

Red wines:

For red wines it is more complicated to find an association that embellishes the dish and the wine at the same time. The fat and salt already present in the dish will not necessarily highlight any red wine. The pairing can be done if the wine has melted tannins, that it is not too astringent.

We want something flexible and fresh in the mouth so as not to weigh down the dish.To stay in the region, a Savoy wine based on Mondeuse or Pinot Noir can go with a raclette or fondue with fruity notes and lightness on the palate. If you want to get away from Savoy, a fruity and low tannic Loire red wine can also go very well. 

Meat-based recipes :

Pot au feu

Now let’s move on to the next winter dish characteristic of French gastronomy, I named the pot au feu!

This dish from our grandparents reminds us of reassuring moments of our childhood every time we drip into it. This meat is slowly simmered in a broth accompanied by its vegetables. It is a typical dish of Sunday lunches. 

But what to serve to drink with a pot in the fire? How to find a wine that goes well with meat and vegetables. 

The meat often used in the pot au feu is beef such as hock, gite, rib dish or paleron. Meat is the central element of the dish. It is therefore important to associate wine with meat while paying attention to how it is cooked. And yes, we will not associate the wine itself with a beef simmered for a long time than a bleeding beef.  

Here the long cooking makes the meat extremely tender and comes to perfume the broth. 

To marry with the pot au feu, one would opt for a red wine with moderate tannins not to mask the sweetness of the meat but while raising the structure of the broth.

You have to find the right balance between acidity, fruity notes and tannins. It will be advisable to choose fruity red wines to complement the vegetables and broth, with coated tannins. Avoid wines with woody notes that are too pronounced. 

For example, a wine from the Rhone Valley such as a Crozes Hermitage or a Saint Joseph. These fruity and spicy wines will raise the aromas already present in the pot au feu without taking over. They will bring a good note of freshness. 

And that’s it, you are now unbeatable on the food and wine pairings of winter dishes.

You are ready for this winter and ready to feast on a delicious raclette or a beautiful pot in the fire.

See you soon for new news!

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