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What to Know About Pairing Alcohol with Food

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Friends or couples eating fast food and drinking beer and wine in a American fast food diner

While some people may just grab any alcoholic beverage to have with their food, it’s been proven that certain alcohols pair better with certain foods. By pairing your alcohol with your food, you will be taking the experience to the next level.

Pairing these two things may seem like a simple task, but there are quite a few things to consider. Choosing the right alcohol can make or break a meal. If you have no idea where to start when it comes to pairing alcohol with food, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn a few helpful tips.

Decide on What the Focus Is

Do you want the focus of the meal to be the alcohol or the food? Deciding this will be a helpful step in the pairing process.

If you want the focus to be on the alcohol, you should pick that out first, and then choose food to match. If you want the focus to be on the food, then vice versa.

For beginners, wine is a good starting point, since it is the alcohol that most often goes paired with foods, and you can find many guides on pairing wine with meals. Just be sure to choose a good wine, such as one from Dune Wines.

Your Alcohol and Food Should Be Similar in Weight

This is quite an easy tip to remember, but it makes a huge difference. “Weight” in this case doesn’t refer to the physical weight of the alcohol or food – no one is expecting you to weigh both. However, a steak is a much heavier and more satiating meal than something light, such as seafood or a salad.

Thus, the steak should be paired with heavier, hardier alcohol, and lighter meals should be paired with something much fresher. If you have a light and fresh wine and you’re not sure what meal to make with it, you can click here for some ideas.

people enjoying food and drink

Play with Texture

We all know that food should have different textures. Crunchy can be paired with smooth, airy can be paired with brittle . . . you get the idea. You should keep this in mind with all of the meals, and especially try to balance the textures of dessert. But how exactly does alcohol play into this? Some kinds of alcohol are much smoother than others, which may have a bit of texture to them. However, for beginners, a great way to play with texture is to use bubbly alcohol, such as champagne.

Keep the Alcohol Sweeter Than the Food

Playing around with different flavors of alcohol can truly enhance a meal. For example, sweeter cocktails, such as these ginger beer cocktails, may add a nice flavor balance to salty foods. So, don’t be afraid to mix and match a bit!

That being said, the alcohol should always be sweeter than the food. This is easy for most meals, but harder when it comes to dessert. If you can’t find very sweet alcohol, try to opt for a dessert that isn’t overly sweet. This will make it easier for you to keep the alcohol sweeter.

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