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Foolproof Guide to Pairing Alcohol-Free Red and White Wine with Food

Pure Vision alcohol free Shiraz and Chardonnay with two glasses on a serving board

Alcohol-free wines are a popular alternative for those who want to enjoy the taste of wine without the effects of alcohol. They are also a great option for those who don’t drink alcohol or have health concerns that prevent them from consuming it. But what about pairing alcohol-free wine with food? Can it be done successfully? Absolutely! Here’s the ultimate guide to pairing alcohol-free red and white wine with food.

White Wine Pairings:

  1. Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp and refreshing white wine pairs well with seafood, chicken, and light salads. It also goes well with cheese and crackers.
  2. Chardonnay: This full-bodied wine pairs well with rich and creamy dishes such as pasta in a cream sauce or chicken Alfredo.
  3. Pinot Grigio: A light and citrusy wine that pairs well with light seafood dishes, salads, and grilled chicken.
  4. Riesling: Can range from dry and crisp to sweet and is full of round and subtle aromas like peach, pear, grapefruit, apple, apricot, and other fruits. Sweeter Riesling wines have stronger tastes of apricot and peach, whereas dry Rieslings have more intense notes of apple and grapefruit. Sweeter styles pairs well with spicy dishes such as Thai or Indian cuisine. While the drier varietals goes well with pork, chicken, and seafood.

Red Wine Pairings:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon: This full-bodied red wine pairs well with grilled meats such as steak, lamb, and beef. It also goes well with strong cheeses and chocolate. Try Ariel Cab Sav for a beautiful full mouthfeel and dry finish.
  2. Merlot: Try Carl Jung for a smooth and medium-bodied wine that pairs well with roasted meats such as pork, chicken, and beef. It also goes well with tomato-based dishes.
  3. Pinot Noir: This light-bodied red wine pairs well with salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish. It also goes well with mushrooms and other earthy flavours.
  4. Syrah (Shiraz): Shiraz is usually full-bodied with dry, earthy notes and traditionally pairs well with game meats such as venison and boar. It also goes well with spicy dishes and barbecue. In my experience, this is also the go-to varietal for a fancy-pants cheese board (my favourite kind of dinner). Try Pure Vision for a surprising alcohol free version of a favourite.
  5. Rose: Is somewhere between a red and white, but is generally made with red wine grapes where the juice is allowed to sit on the skins for a very short period of time. 24 – 48 hours instead of the weeks that red wine gets on skins.  The primary flavours of rosé wine are red fruit, berries, flowers, citrus, and melon.  They can also have a huge range from crisp and dry to sweet.  In my books, rose goes with everything!  But try it with a charcuterie board, terrine or rillettes. A spicy fish curry is terrific with a sweeter pink. There are lots in the shop – why dont you get your hands on this bundle to try a few.

Pairing Tips:

  1. Match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the food. Light wines pair well with light dishes, while full-bodied wines pair well with rich, heavy dishes.
  2. Consider the flavours of the wine and the food. Look for complementary flavours or contrasting flavours that enhance the taste of both.
  3. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different combinations of food and wine to find your favourite pairings.
  4. Serve the wine at the appropriate temperature. Traditionally, we have been told to that white wine should be served chilled and reds at room temperature. However, I have found that in warmer months, alcohol free red wines benefit from being served at a lower temperature.

So, give some thought to what wine you will serve with your next meal.  Don’t be afraid to break some rules and have some fun.  Alcohol-free wines can be successfully paired with food. The key is to consider the intensity and flavour of both the wine and the food. Don’t forget your palate.  If you have never been a red wine drinker then choose a rose or fuller bodied white with your steak.  There are no hard and fast rules.  Just guidelines to get you started.

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