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How to Pair Food With Drinks: TippleHub’s Tips

At TippleHub we are all about food and drink; they always go hand in hand to ensure the best experience. Whether it is beer or wine, a cocktail or simply a vermouth spritzer, here at the headquarter’s we always try to match it with the most suitable appetiser or meal to enhance satisfaction. Food and drink pairing is not only great fun, but it makes a dish or a beverage come out and taste better at the time. 

We stick to two major rules when dining and drinking in style and the first one is mirroring. This method works particularly well when you want to emphasise the more pronounced flavours of a dish or a beverage while not silencing either of them. For instance, if you host a BBQ and you pour a rich stout or porter such as Titanic Brewery Plum Porter, the latter will complement the rich and smoky meats while preserving its bold character. Other examples include pairing a complex, full-bodied wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with rich beef dishes or game. Our all-time favourite is Beronia Organic Rioja Crianza 2019, ideal for drinking with flame-grilled meat, ibérico cured meats or mature cheese. However, you should be careful when applying this rule because you can easily numb some characteristics of more complex dishes or drinks and in that way impair the general feeling. It may sound strange, but you should never pair a cake with champagne as the sugars in desserts overpower and completely take out the sweetness of the champagne and leaves you with a glass of unbalanced, less fizzy tipple which is bland and more acidic than anything else. 

Another common way to get the best out of both food and drink is contrasting. This method is a bit more challenging, but if you get it right – you will get the best experience. Here, we usually play with opposite characteristics such as creaminess, fruitiness, bitterness, sweetness, saltiness, acidity, fragrance, umami, etc. and stand them against each other so that we can achieve a perfect balance. We often pair a crisp, zesty white wine with a dish with a cream sauce, a sparkling cava (such as Vilarnau Organic Brut Reserva) with a salty dish, or a hoppy IPA (just like our Taras Boulba) with pork dishes. Think of the perfect marriage of tomato and mozzarella – you have the fruity, sweet, slightly acidic and packed with umami tomato paired with the creamy, mild-flavoured, milky with only a hint of tanginess cheese. Sprinkle a few drops of fruity but bitter olive oil, tear a leaf of fragrant basil, and you will have a match made in heaven. Then, you may raise a glass of cava, prosecco or champagne to celebrate that holy union. 

There are, of course, many other techniques to match food with drinks, such as having them in a different order, using one of the two to clean the palate and reset your taste buds and smell sensory cells, etc. Nevertheless, you should always pick your favourites as it would have been very unlikely that you would suddenly enjoy something you had never liked simply because of the right pairing. Remember: eating and drinking should always be fun, and at times, the right amount is the most crucial factor, that determines the quality of the experience.