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Le Dîner en Blanc - Pairing of food and wine

Dinners with friends and family are the norm throughout the year, but of course, the one we are all eagerly waiting for is undoubtedly Le Dîner en Blanc during where savouring pleasures are at core of the event. This is why we are writing today about the importance of pairing a meal and wine when developing our menu for our gourmet baskets.


It is important to start with the basics. Drinking wine, definitely, but in what order? The idea is always to start your feast with the most acidic wine, then gradually increase in intensity to finally end with the sweetest one. The advice that we can give to the newcomer is, therefore, to start with champagne and/or sparkling wine in order to tickle the palate. White or Rosé wine should follow, then red wine, and finish the meal with a sweet white wine.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Start the dinner with a soft wine as an appetizer: the taste buds will be weighed down and excited by the sugar and will, therefore, have difficulty getting back into place for the following dishes and wines.
  • Ending the meal with dessert and a glass of champagne: the bubbles offer important freshness and a significant acidic sensation which should be sought at the beginning of the meal, or event as an aperitif.
  • Some foods are difficult to match with wine and spirits: garlic, anchovies, raw vegetables, egg yolk, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh sour fruits (lemon, grapefruit, orange), vinaigrette and mustard. Spicy foods anesthetize the taste buds and will, in fact, be hard to pair with wine.

More Details

Aperitif: the word comes from the Latin word aperire – ‘to open appetite’.

Prefer therefore dry, sparkling or rosé wines. Wines that will make you salivate will immediately make you hungry. The ideal is simply to prepare your precious taste buds, the eminently important sensory organs.

Its Majesty Champagne will sharpen your taste buds. A brut, extra-brut, or rosé, the bubbles exhaling the perfumes, and giving an impression of freshness also multiplied, these wines are ideal to start the charge.

The Meal

Each dish has a specificity due to the agreement of flavours and seasonings. For wines, it's exactly the same thing. The paring of food and wine then constitutes a specific result for each combination. It may, or may not work depending on the flavours. The food can enhance or weaken a characteristic of the wine, the intensity of the aromas can conceal those of the wine or the opposite, the wine can bring new aromas to the dish.

Examples of Food and Wine Pairing

No matter which one it is, if you choose to serve it as a starter it is recommended to accompany it with salt and pepper instead of fruit compote. Also, be careful not to associate it with sweet wine, which should be reserved for the end of the dinner. In the past, epicureans would serve foie gras at the end of the meal as a dessert following the cheese and preceding the dessert. Perfect transition to pastries, accompanied by a sweet wine, the foie gras at the end of the meal will be a delectable dish that will seduce and surprise your guests with the right wine pairing.

The very iodized notes won’t enhance a great wine, that’s for sure, but that doesn’t prevent you from succumbing to its subtle sweet pleasure. It is advisable to pair oysters, for example, with tart white wines, endowed with a nice freshness. In addition, if these wines reveal salty or even iodized notes, then the pairing will only be better.

The widely held belief that cheese goes perfectly with red wines turns out to be, in most cases, false. The tannins present in red wine, its acidity and structure collide with the lactic ferments present in the cheeses and may result in an unpleasant taste. In the past, a wine called ‘piquette’ in France accompanied cheese plates very well at the end of a meal. This light red wine, almost watery and devoid of tannins, matched perfectly with just about everything. But nowadays, the wines we buy no longer have this composition. The simplest and most delectable solution is to present white wines to compliment a cheese plate.


Dîner en Blanc International


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