The Best Tips for Pairing Wine & Beer With Meals to Impress Your Next Date

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The Best Tips for Pairing Wine & Beer With Meals to Impress Your Next Date. You’ve met someone you really like — now, it’s time to impress them. You could whip up a tasty meal at home or take them to a restaurant for a delectable dinner. Either way, the spread would feel incomplete without a glass of the good stuff.

Of course, you don’t want to choose just any beverage to go with your thoughtfully prepared or curated meal. Instead, you want to partner it with the perfect pour, whether that’s wine or beer. The following are ten surefire combinations — they’ll taste great, and your date just might be impressed with your pairing know-how.

1. Shrimp Scampi and Pinot Grigio

Everyone loves pasta. Somehow, those floury cylinders taste even better when slathered in a creamy white sauce. It’s easy enough to remember that white sauce pairs well with white wine, so you shouldn’t have any trouble pouring at your next Italian-inspired meal. Pinot Grigio is a crisp companion to the lemony, buttery shrimp scampi in front of you.

2. Fried Chicken and Lager

If you’re on a first date, listen up. The dinner order most likely to get you a second date is fried chicken, according to the dating app Hinge. So, don’t be shy when you’re craving this southern dish, especially now that you know a classic lager pairs best with your drumsticks and wings. Because fried chicken is so flavorful and rich, you’ll want something simple and refreshing to wash down every last bite — lager fits that bill.

3. Prime Rib and Cabernet Sauvignon

White wine is sweeter and fruitier than red wine — it wouldn’t stand a chance against the flavor of a prime rib. So, if you’re grilling steak to perfection, always reach for red wine, especially if it’s a cab sauv — it’s rich enough to bring even more flavor to your juicy cut of prime rib.

4. Steamed Mussels and Dark Lager

On the list of best food and drink pairings, this one might be the most surprising — a deep-colored, flavorful lager is the yin to light steamed mussels’ yang. If you decide to go with wine, though, a darker pour won’t fit — you’ll want a dry white wine like chardonnay.

5. Grilled Salmon and Rosé

We’ve mentioned a few times that most seafood pairs best with white wine, but we have yet to mention salmon. You’ll be surprised to find out that your grilled salmon fillets actually go well with most of the wine rainbow. You could try a rosé, which will enhance the grilled fish’s flavor, although Pinots Gris or Noir have the same effect. The choice is yours.

6. Honey-Glazed Ham and Wheat Beer

You never know where your date will take you. Perhaps you’ll end up behind a mountain of roast ham, even if it’s not a holiday and you’re not gathering around an entire table’s full of feast-ready foods. To prepare for any situation, let’s go over what tastes best with this sweet-and-savory protein.

Wheat beer goes great with a honey-glazed ham because it is the perfect mirror of what you’re eating. It’s neither too bitter nor too sweet, and it has enough flavor to stand alongside your protein of choice. You could choose an even sweeter beer, such as a Belgian tripel if you really want to enhance the notes of honey.

7. Oysters and Muscadet

You’ve heard a lot about oysters as an aphrodisiac, but people react to the shellfish differently according to researchers working on behalf of the Smithsonian. Still, there’s no harm in trying to set the mood with this delectable seafood.

Just make sure you have the right wine to go with it. Muscadet is a white wine that’s grown by the sea in France. Some say the Mediterranean air infuses the wine with a touch of saltiness that makes it your dinner’s culinary soulmate.

8. Blackened Fish and a Porter

A dark brown and bitter beer is also known as a porter. It has a bit of flavor and spice of its own, which does nothing but complement your blackened fish. If you’ve never made it or tried it before, it’s not just chargrilled — it’s rubbed in spices including cayenne, paprika and dry mustard to punch up the flavor. The beer enhances each one of those spices with a kick of its own.

9. Sushi and Riesling

You might be tempted to order a round of sake on your next sushi date, but it’s not the best partner for your plate full of sushi rolls. Instead, go for a Riesling, which tends to be equal parts crisp and fruity — you’ll often pick up notes of apple, peach and pear. Of course, if you want something more authentic, a Japenese white made from koshu grapes will do the trick, too.

10. Roast Chicken and Bitter Bear

If you haven’t had a proper introduction, bitter beer is an institution in the United Kingdom. Rather than focusing on pale ales alone, the Brits have created a plethora of beers with bite. It all started with their rise in popularity in the 19th century when bar-goers would request something bitter, as opposed to the mild lagers that could have been on tap. The rest, as they say, is history.

By choosing a bitter beer, which is widely available across the world nowadays, you’re adding a layer of depth to a classic roast chicken dinner. You could try a blonde ale for something a bit more subdued, but why not show your date your adventurous side? Ask for a bitter and see just how well it goes from there.

Drink Up

No matter which of the above combinations you choose, one thing’s for sure — your date will be impressed by the thoughtful planning you put into your meal, down to drinks in your glasses. So, relax, have a sip and enjoy — you’ve earned your dinner and the good company.

Jennifer Landis
Jennifer Landis is a wife, mom, writer, and healthy living blogger. She enjoys longs walks around the block with her toddler, prefers tea over coffee, and eats way too much peanut butter. You can find more from Jennifer on her blog, http://mindfulnessmama.com or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis
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