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Lesson 5Pairing Food and Wine

Luckily, you don’t have to be a master sommelier or a world-class chef to gain a basic understanding of which wines go best with which foods. But rest assured, the next time you stop by The Restaurant at JUSTIN, we’ll have both available to help you out if need be.

From dry white wines to bold, full-bodied reds, crafting food-friendly wines is one of our main missions here at JUSTIN. When creating your perfect pairing, one way to get started is matching like with like. For example, our JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc pairs beautifully with our locally sourced Central Coast cheeses and charcuterie.

As for red wine, you’ve probably heard that it pairs well with red meat. This is because the tannins of red wine bind quickly to proteins like steak, allowing the wine to taste softer. When it comes to our JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon, the unique terroir of Paso Robles produces grapes with generous flavor and notes of ripe berry fruit. Terroir refers to the sum of environmental factors that affect the grapes, including the climate, soil, and terrain of a given region. In our case, our well-drained, limestone-rich soils are a key factor in producing the big, bold red wines we’re known for. Given its big flavor, our Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for all manner of modest meat courses but soft enough to work with many kinds of grilled fish or chicken main courses.

When pairing white wines, seafood is a natural place to start. The savory umami notes that can sometimes make the tannins of red wine taste a little on the bitter side are right at home when paired with a dry white wine. Speaking of dry white wines, our Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with an amazing range of cheeses, seafood, appetizers, or tapas. Overall, it’s a refreshing aperitif and very versatile food-pairing wine.

Similar to wine tasting in general, there are no right or wrong answers or hard-and-fast rules when it comes to creating perfect wine and food pairings. While matching flavors and textures is a great place to start, some people really enjoy taking an “opposite attract” approach. Truthfully, the best way to discover which pairings work best for you is to simply start experimenting. Luckily for this kind of experiment, you don’t need the scientific method, just a bottle of JUSTIN, an appetite, and a little creativity.


More Lessons

  • Storing and Aging Wine

    Learn how best to store wine and how it changes over time.

  • Opening and Decanting Wine

    Learn how to open and decant a bottle of wine.

  • Choosing Stemware and Setting a Table

    Become a pro at choosing the right stemware and setting the perfect table.

  • Tasting Wine

    When it comes to wine tasting, there are no right and wrong answers

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