It is sometimes difficult to choose the right wine in a restaurant. Unlike at home, the choice of menu and wine is not necessarily made in advance. It is therefore an additional source of reflection when we bring you the menus, especially the wine lists. Les Grappes offers some advice to facilitate and guide your choices!
There are generally some basic rules about the order of appearance of wines in a restaurant meal. Thus, the lightest wines are served before the fullest and the driest wines before the sweetest. White wine is served before red and sparkling wines are served first. However, you can overturn these rules, as dishes may require a particular food and wine pairing.
To accompany your starters, generally opt for dry and lively whites such as Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc which will go well with salads and other seafood hors d'oeuvres. If you are having cold meats as a starter, don't hesitate to go straight to the red, with light wines such as Burgundy or Beaujolais. If you have red meat, carpaccio for example, choose a fleshy red wine made from Merlot, like most appellations in Bordeaux Rive Droite. There are also spicy and fruity red wines that can also be paired with seafood, such as Beaujolais.
For your main dishes, often rich in fat and accompanied by a sauce, you can continue with a full-bodied red, such as a Saint-Emillion. However, if you've opted for fish or if your dish is more refined, dare a more robust white wine, such as Chardonnay instead of red. A Chablis will be perfect with fish!
Asian cuisine, generally slightly spicy or sweet and sour, can also be accompanied by semi-dry wines such as Gewurtztraminer or a fresh and fruity rosé from Provence for example. As far as foie gras is concerned, you can easily taste it with a sweet white wine, such as Sauternes.
Champagne usually opens the festivities, but it is also known for its versatility which makes it a sommelier's best friend. The purity and sparkling flavour of Champagne can accompany you from the starter to the dessert!
There is nothing more pleasant than a sweet wine to accompany the end of your meal, but here again there are exceptions. If you opt for a fruit-based dessert, don't hesitate to take a sweet or syrupy white. A tarte Tatin will go perfectly with a Coteaux du Layon. For red fruit based desserts, sparkling rosé, such as Champagne Rosé can be an excellent choice. For chocolate-based desserts, go for a natural sweet wine, such as Rivesaltes or Port, or a sweet white wine such as Sauternes.