It isn’t always easy to create a perfectly balanced meal — sometimes pairing the food with wine seems like an unrealistic luxury after a long day at work. Fortunately, it’s actually a lot simpler than it seems, thanks to an easy-to-use visual by the flower delivery company FTD.
Some general pointers about pairing herbs and wine
- Soft herbs like basil, dill, and tarragon tend to go better with white wine than ‘hard’ herbs like rosemary and thyme which are generally better with reds (the only exception to that is sage)
- Fresh herbs are more likely to go with white and rosé than dried herbs such as oregano or a classic Herbes de Provence. The exception is dried mint which is used quite widely in Greek cooking and tends to go just as well with a sharp lemony white as a red.
- Freshly picked herbs or herbs that are sold in bunches on market stalls and at greengrocers tend to have more flavor and therefore influence a pairing than herbs that are sold in packets
- Quite often herbs are used together – like parsley, coriander and mint or mint, and coriander.
The good news is that there are herbs that you don’t need to worry about too much, for instance, parsley (in general though see below), chives – just subtly oniony – and dried oregano which is normally dominated by other ingredients – e.g. tomato sauce on a pizza or tomato, onion, and olives in a Greek salad
What is a congruent pairing for wine and herbs?
The magic behind pairing wines with herbs and spices starts with aroma compounds found in both spices and wine. Not surprisingly, many herbs and spices share the same aroma compounds as wine. A real-world example is matching a black pepper with Syrah; both wine and spice contain the spicy-but-floral compound called rotundone. When you match like flavors together they magnify each other. This type of pairing is called a congruent pairing and it’s the theory behind matching wine with spices and herbs.
Instead of focusing on foods, this particular wine pairing guide helps match wines with different herbs, such as basil and chives. It even includes recipe ideas that work perfectly with the herb and wine recommendations! You can see the guide below. Be sure to tell us which pairings you choose to go with!