Types of Wine and How to Pair Wine with Food? The 101 Guide

Aug 1, 2012

This post should have been named “Four Seasons Wine Event” but then I decided the other way round because personally I was touched how wine can go hand in hand with food. This post will take you thought each and every point that I can think of so, at times it might get boring if you know about them already (sorry in advance).

My experience with wine before this event – I have tried Cuban red wine and some whites from Grover. I also had some from Sula as well. I felt red was my thing because maybe I was never able to connect with the whites. Later in this post I will tell you why I never liked white. It was because something that I was doing wrong.

What is this white and red because if you squeeze a grape, the juice is always white? The color of the wine comes from the skin of the grapes. Black grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice to impart the full color of the red wine. For whites, well you guessed it correctly - there is no contact. Again it all depends on the wine making techniques. The wine maker might think of keeping the white-skin grapes with the white wine to add more flavor to it. Now are you realizing how much the taste might vary for each wine maker? Again there is a Rosé variant as well.

Rosé? Is it made with mixing red and white? Hell NO! The grape skins are allowed to keep with the wine for 12 hours to 3 days depending on the make just to make sure that it just the pink shade they want. Depending on the grapes and wine making techniques, the pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple. It is also called rosado (Spain), rosato (Italy) or blush – or simply the pink wine. Talk about being girly, eh?

How to Taste? Before I start on how to pair, let me say something about how to taste it. You might have been bored to death by now by the 4 S – See, Swirl, Smell, Sip. But no matter now boring they might sound they are important to judge about the wine in a perfect way. Our tongue can only taste 4 tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter while my nose take help up take around 200 aromas and eyes? Infinite, I guess. So, we take the help of sight by See. We hold the tiled wine against a white surface (you can use the napkin or the table cloth) or better – against light to see the color of the wine. Swril the wine by taking support of the table. Smell the wine to determine the aromas and finally Sip and roll in the mouth so that all the taste buds which are located in different regions can determine the taste and so, we finally get the flavor of the wine with the 4S. 

Quite a Scary Pic. Noticed the Nail Art?

How to pair? To be frank its not as simple as White meat with white wine and Red meat with red wine. Actually it doesn’t even make any sense! It all depends on the preparation as well as the wine. Let me talk about it by comparing the Four Seasons Wine and the dishes we had in Oasis, part Street. 

The Four Seasons Event

Before I proceed I must say the owner Mr. Pratap Darayani is a jolly good fellow and I just want him to wear a red shirt to be my Santa! He is very warm and welcoming.

Entres – We had Veg Wantons and Herb Infused Chicken Reshmi Kebab with Four Seasons Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is White Wine with a pale yellow color. It had a very fruity smell with loads of flavor of tropical fruits like pineapple and banana. Now, these fruits are not added to them but it’s the property of the grapes of that region to have a taste like that. The body (The sense of alcohol in the wine and the sense of feeling in the mouth) was very light and the wine was not very sharply acidic (Acidic wines generally has a mouth watering fell and cleans your palettes). So, because it does cleans your mouth it better to pair with very light food like salads. The veg wantons lightly fried and they paired perfectly with this light wine. The Kababs were little more aromatic for the wine. The Kababs were overpowering for the taste of the wine. This is just an example how it not necessary that all whites go great with whites meats. When you have your food with wine, you might be able to taste both of them together when you are sipping your wine in between your bites.

Right after the starters we had Viognier – another white wine with a pale gold color but this had more berry and floral smell. After I smell, I had no intentions of having it but them the taste changed my thoughts. It more body and acidic compared to Chenin Blanc. It would have been perfect with the Kababs but by then I already gulped down the ones in my plates but asking for more was something I had no intentions of doing. Instead, I refilled my glass. LOL.

Main Course – Before I finished by Viognier, the main course was served and so, I got ready for the next wine - Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The Reserves are the ones which were kept in French oak barrels so these have a very woody (Aromas often imparted by oak like vanilla and coffee) smell. This is their award winning red wine about which they are really proud. And the proud was justified by the taste. It was a full-bodied wine (Body : The sense of alcohol in the wine and the sense of feeling in the mouth) with a concentration of soft tannins (Tanning is a substance that causes a firm, mouth drying feeling.).We had this rich deep cherry red wine with Grilled Fish (Another example that white meat goes great with red wine). This was the best paring of the evening. We also had Masala Au Gratin which was really yum but I felt it would have been better to taste it with Viognier. 

Dessert – Finally the dessert was served. It was Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate brownie with Chocolate Brownie. Along with it we were served Blush wine – my first Rosé. It was salmon pink and had a rosy smells with hint of strawberry. This was a refreshing wine. Personally it didn’t fit well with the desert as the chocolate was very overpowering. I left my desert and had only the wine.

I loved Cabernet Sauvignon above all but then other were in love with Blush and why not? It was PINK! Can a girl ask for anything better?

Personal Tip: If you ever have to buy wine and have no idea about brands etc then remember the following 2 points

1. The year on the bottle label is not the year bottling but the year the grapes were harvested.
2. There a conical depth in the bottom of the bottle (punt), deeper the depth – richer the wine. This is not a magical rule but correct most of the time.
3. Don’t go for a cute looking bottle because it might just be a away to hide the bad quality. I like the serious packing of the Four Seasons Wine.

Vote of Thanks - Thanks to Shamita for taking out your time to tell us so much about wine. I frankly can pair them now even with dal chawal ! She is a sweet girl. God Bless her sweet heart.

Comparing the color of Four Seasons Chenin Blanc and Viognier. Sitting pretty Shamita Singha.

PS: I am not an expert in wine. Just sharing what I learnt in the event. TC.


  1. awesome post... read this carefully... like learning the ABCs...thanks a lot.. u have summed it up so nicely.. :)

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