Dining
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DINING

The Art of Pairing Fine Wines for Dining Pleasure

June 25, 2024

When you have a sumptuous meal waiting to be enjoyed, the last thing you want is to have a wine served that isn’t complimentary to the cuisine. To become a successful matchmaker and develop a love affair between the fare and the vine's fruit, you must first know the basics and branch out from there. Although it seems relatively simple, the best place to start is following the golden rule of food and wine pairing: White with fish, red with meat. In other words, light wine with light food and heavy wine with heavy food. Of course, as with all things, there are exceptions.

Solid cheeses and meats do well with heavier, bold red wines

What Makes a Pairing Great?

The world’s finest sommeliers strive for pairings that bring out the best in each other and go one step further – create a new taste when they come together, one even more spectacular than when they are on their own. There must be balance. Neither the wine nor the food should overpower the other. You aren’t aiming for just OK; you certainly don’t want a fight between what’s on your plate and what’s in your glass. You want a match made in heaven, with your dinner guests asking, “How did you ever find a wine to go so magnificently with dinner?”

Mussels pair well with white wine.

Contrast and Harmony Pairings

There are various ways to pair food and wine, but contrast and harmony are the two most often used. Opposites attract in contrast pairings—like salty and sweet. When there are similar flavors in the wine and food, flavors that enhance each other—that’s a harmonious pairing, which is the easiest to achieve. Let’s put these ideas to use.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

Any wine lover is aware of vintages from this region of France. This wine is a Hercules – big, bold, and beautiful. It pairs best with beef, duck, venison, and lamb. In addition to the fruity flavors of cooked cherry, raspberry, and blackberry, you’ll get herbs, black pepper, licorice, and smokey and gamey flavors in this complex red. Since it’s high in alcohol and full-bodied, Châteauneuf-du-Pape should never be served with spicy dishes like curry or Mexican food.

Provence is the best place to start your wine-drinking journey, especially if you’re staying at the magnificent Villa Nina, with its enchanting contemporary design, just beside the esteemed Terre Blanche golf course. It offers both views of Provencal villages and encompassing mountains, giving this villa a serene and luxurious note. Lavish Villa Nina invites ten guests to experience its contemporary ambiance of an expansive living room embellished with high ceilings and five double ensuite bedrooms offering serenity and privacy. Beyond the gorgeous interior, the outdoor area offers a heated swimming pool for relaxation. However, for those more keen on activities, Terre Blanche Spa and tennis courts are accessible from the estate, which attests to the luxury of this vacation rental. 

Villa Nina
Vintages from Provence pair best with beef, duck, venison, and lamb.

The Hamptons, New York, United States

With over 60 vineyards and wineries in the Hamptons and across the North Fork, you can find a red, white, sparkling, or rosé perfect for any occasion. Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack features its Antonov Sauvignon Blanc – one of the finest expressions of the winery’s terroir. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the varieties most suitable for growing on Long Island. The particular dynamic between the abundance of intense sun and the cooling maritime sea breeze imparts a distinct mineral character and ripe fruit. This wine is delicate and fresh with vibrant fruit aromas like crisp green apple and green papaya. It’s pure and focused, with ripe fruit on the palate. It has a long finish that perfectly matches raw oysters, clams, fresh, soft cheeses, fish, pasta, flavorful salads, and white meat dishes such as pork belly with apple and cabbage salad. Consider spending some time in the Hamptons area and visiting all those wineries. While having a full itinerary, a traditional Villa Isabel is an ideal choice for winding down and relaxing. Atlantic shores are in its proximity, and just beside it is a serene pond that brightens the villa even more. The contemporary indoor aesthetic is graced with immaculate white walls, fostering a sense of spaciousness within the communal spaces. It graciously accommodates up to fifteen guests, providing resplendent lodging across eight lavish bedrooms, complemented by an impeccable 24-hour white-glove service. Some rooms have a swimming pool, whirlpool, or terrace access, while the main suite holds a romantic terrace with a pond view. From the media, library, sauna, and gym space, this villa gives opportunities for relaxation and fitness activities. The fun doesn’t stop indoors as an infinity pool completes the deck and verdant lawns. 

Villa Isabel
Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with seafood, such as raw oysters and clams

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca is a Balearic island off Spain’s eastern coast. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, Michelin-starred restaurants, and delicious Sangria, but now it is also getting to be known for its wine made from indigenous grapes on the island.

Bodega Ribas is the oldest vineyard on the island. Here, you can find several unique appellations. Still, we recommend Sioneta Rosat, a naturally sweet late-harvest wine produced from small batches of small-berried Muscat grapes that have been over-ripened and dried on the vine. It’s pink and clean-looking, with a taste of strawberries, raspberries, and cherries and a floral touch. There is a beautiful balance between sweetness and acidity. This wine is lovely as an aperitif or paired with foie gras, blue cheese, duck magret, dark chocolate desserts, cheesecake, or berries and cream.

Son Bunyola is an idyllic place to stay on the Island of Mallorca, perched high in the hills. This secluded estate offers breathtaking views of the sealine and surrounding mountains, just moments away from the picturesque beaches. This pastoral complex comprises three separate homes, accommodating twenty-six guests in thirteen bedrooms. Each combines beachside romanticism and timeless elegance by having sloped ceilings, white interiors, and sofas, all bringing to life the airy ambiance, while warm wood details seamlessly rope together the indoor and outdoor areas. The bohemian atmosphere navigates around the estate, especially the vines embracing the manor walls and citrus and olive trees scattered throughout the garden. Son Bunyola is a perfect property to unwind with friends and family and enjoy the Balearic Islands. 

Son Bunyola
Celebrations are more special with the perfect food and wine pairings

We invite you to entrust your holiday planning and accommodations to us. LVH always holds the highest standard of excellence in vacation home experiences, and we do everything possible to ensure that every need and desire is met.

LVH
#Wine Destinations #Luxury Travel #Luxury Villa Rentals
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