Part 4 of Drycraft’s Ultimate Guide to Enhancing Your NA Wine
Non-alcoholic wines can be a great alternative, but sometimes they can lack the complexity and depth of traditional wines. The good news is, with a few simple tips, you can enhance the taste of your non-alcoholic wine and make it more enjoyable. In this series, we'll cover seven ways to take your non-alcoholic wine to the next level. From adjusting serving temperatures to adding carbonation, we'll explore various techniques to improve the taste and texture of your wine.
How to pair non-alcoholic wine with the right food
If after altering your non-alcoholic wine by adding body or adjusting the flavor profile, you still find it doesn’t quite hit the spot, you might try serving it with snacks or a meal to complement the flavors. Pairing your wine with the right food can have a tremendous impact on your impression of the beverage and of the food, since the flavors play off each other to produce an overall experience.
When it comes to pairing non-alcoholic wines with food, it's important to consider the unique characteristics of these beverages. Non-alcoholic wines often have different flavor profiles and body compared to their alcoholic counterparts.
While normally, you might select the wine to complement the meal you’re having, when it comes to non-alcoholic wines there aren’t that many varieties yet to pick from. So it might be that you need to adjust what food you’re serving to complement the wine instead.
With that in mind, let's explore some tailored pairing suggestions for non-alcoholic wines:
Food Pairings For Non-Alcoholic White Wine
|Type of Wine
|Example Non-Alcoholic Wines
|Suggested Food Pairing
|Sweeter, light-bodied wine
|Non-alcoholic Riesling, Non-alcoholic Moscato
|Balance the sweetness with spicy, salty, or savory dishes. For instance, pair a non-alcoholic Riesling with a spicy Thai curry to create a harmonious balance of flavors. Non-alcoholic Moscato can be a delightful match for desserts, such as fruit tarts or caramelized crème brûlée.
|Dry white with minerality
|Non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc, Non-alcoholic Champagne
|The crispness and minerality of these wines can be enhanced with chilled seafood towers, fresh salads, or a platter of assorted cheeses. Try pairing a non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc with oysters or a citrusy shrimp ceviche. Non-alcoholic Champagne or sparkling wine can elevate the flavors of appetizers, such as smoked salmon or a creamy goat cheese spread.
|Crisp, citrusy white
|Non-alcoholic Pinot Grigio, Non-alcoholic Albariño
|These non-alcoholic white wines, with their citrusy and zesty characteristics, can be paired with seafood dishes. Consider serving a non-alcoholic Pinot Grigio with grilled lemon herb shrimp or a non-alcoholic Albariño with a ceviche made with fresh citrus and diced mango. They can also complement the richness of creamy pasta dishes, such as fettuccine Alfredo or lemon garlic linguine.
Food Pairings For Non-Alcoholic Red Wine
|Type of Wine
|Example of Non-Alcoholic Wines
|Suggested Food For Pairing
|Sweet, fruit-forward red
|Non-alcoholic Shiraz, Non-alcoholic Zinfandel, Non-alcoholic Beaujolais, Non-alcoholic Pinot Noir
|The fruit-forward notes of these non-alcoholic red wines can complement the smokiness of grilled meats like ribs or brisket. They also pair beautifully with cheeses like Brie or Camembert. Consider serving a non-alcoholic Zinfandel with a charcuterie board featuring a variety of cured meats and cheeses.
|Dry, funky red
|Non-alcoholic Syrah/Shiraz, Non-alcoholic Tempranillo, Non-alcoholic Côtes du Rhône blends
|These non-alcoholic red wines, with their bold and complex flavors, are well-suited for pairing with rich, hearty dishes. Try serving a non-alcoholic Syrah/Shiraz with a hearty beef stew or a grilled steak. The earthiness of a non-alcoholic Tempranillo can be a great match for roasted vegetables or a mushroom risotto.
|Non-alcoholic Merlot, Non-alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon
|These non-alcoholic red wines, with their smooth tannins and fruity notes, pair well with a variety of dishes. Try serving a non-alcoholic Merlot with a juicy burger topped with caramelized onions and melted cheese. For a vegetarian option, pair a non-alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon with a Portobello mushroom burger. These wines also go well with aged cheeses like Cheddar or Goud
Pro Tip #1: Just have one type of wine
When you’re having a dinner party, you want your guests to have the best experience, so it’s ok to just have one type of wine on hand to match the course you’re serving. As the host, you can select the right pairing for your menu and make sure that the wine is served at the right temperature so guests don’t mix and match for an odd flavor combo.
Pro Tip #2: Index Cards For A Pot Luck
If you’re hosting a pot luck, it makes it a little bit more difficult, but you can still get by. It sometimes helps to put notes around with the food to help guide guest with what each thing pairs with. Fold some 3x5 index cards in half length-wise (hot dog style), so that they stand up on their own. Draw a line down the middle so that the name of the dish goes on the left, and on the right you have space to write a suggested drink pairing. Place the folded index cards and pens at the end of the buffet table. When your guests arrive, ask them to fill out the left side of the folded index card and place next to their dish for the pot luck buffet. Then add a note to each one to indicate what beverage it pairs best with. Not only does this allow guests to understand what dishes they are picking from, but it also helps guide them to the perfect sip!