People often consult wine and food pairing with us, as we are Lake County’s Top Rated Local® wine bar and restaurant. While the intricacies of wine and food pairing can take a lifetime or more to truly understand, there are a few basic staples we share with those looking to bring the most out of their home dining experience.

Right and wrong is trumped by taste

Before we launch into any tips for pairing your food to your wine and vice versa, it is important to note that there is no wrong way for you to drink wine – regardless of what anyone tells you. Everyone experiences flavor at least slightly differently. While it is unlikely, it is possible that the actual opposite of what you are recommend to pair, or never pair, tastes better to you, and that is okay. We encourage you to experiment with flavor, especially if you feel like the wine and food you have paired are not amplifying one another, as the correct pairing for your pallet will do just that.

wine-2000The basics of wine pairing

As a wine bar and restaurant, we simply must know how to properly pair the food on our menu and wine we offer to give our guests the pinnacle of experience. For home cooks the pressure is somewhat lessened, and most any wine with dinner is going to better than none at all. That said, the basics of flavor pairing for food and wine is as follows:

  • Acidic  – Cut under the acidic flavor of the wine with fatty or sweet foods, everything from a neutral dessert to preserved meats will work nicely.
  • Tannic (bitter) – Bitter wines should be treated as similar to coffee, another bitter drink, and paired with sweet foods. Bitter wines with dessert can elevate an after-dinner party to make you look like a professional host. Tannic wine is also commonly paired with steak.
  • Sweet – Sweet wines are best paired with an acidic food, sour and spicy food, which often includes oriental cuisine. Salty foods are another acceptable pairing, though this pair may not amplify one another.

Our restaurant and wine bar

The unforgettable service, ambiance and selection at Nirvana Wine & Grillerie has made our offerings a staple for many Vernon Hills and Libertyville. Make a reservation online or give our staff a call today for a table or information on our upcoming wine tasting events.