When it comes to drinking and food, most people have their favorite combinations, from classic milk and cookies to a crisp glass of wine with barramundi. Choosing the right beverage to go with your dishes is important and can bring out subtle flavors that you might not have noticed before.
A drink made from the fermented juice of grapes. It comes in a wide range of styles and colors, from light and dry to sweet and sherry-like. It is used as a beverage and for cooking, as well as in religious rites. Wines are also made from the juice of other fruits and plants, such as currants, gooseberries, palms, and birch.
Like food, wine has six basic taste elements: acidity (tartness), sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and umami, which is the “savory” flavor. A well-made wine balances these tastes and complements a dish.
The much-maligned rule that white wine goes with fish and red with meat is still a useful guide, but the wine world is vast and incredibly varied. Experimenting with wine and food pairings to find what you like is part of the fun. And remember, no meal has ever been ruined by an improper pairing! So just relax, have a glass of wine, and enjoy!
Beer has long been a staple in many cultures. It pairs well with a variety of foods and can enhance the flavors of certain dishes. For example, pilsners pair nicely with a wide range of cheeses. You can also serve them with seafood salads, or with spicier dishes that use Mexican or Asian flavors.
It’s a good idea to explore the full spectrum of beers, as they each have their unique flavor profile. Generally, light beers are great with lighter dishes, while darker beers pair nicely with heartier fare.
Contrasting food and beers is a bold move, and one that can demonstrate your culinary prowess. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls. Too much contrast can overwhelm a dish. Contrasting can also be difficult to execute if the two flavors do not have the same intensity or flavor profile.
There are a wide variety of spirits in the world that all have their unique personality and style. The word “spirit” is a very broad one, and it’s been used to describe everything from a person’s disposition to the Holy Spirit in biblical terms. But when it comes to alcoholic beverages, the term most often refers to distilled liquor.
All spirits go through at least two procedures — fermentation and distillation. Fermentation turns sugary brews into alcohol and CO2. Distillation separates ingredients that have higher boiling points from those with lower ones. This enables the production of pure alcohol without the presence of potentially harmful congeners such as proteins.
Spirits include whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and tequila. Liqueurs are spirits that have been flavored with various herbs, spices, fruits, or other natural ingredients. Understanding whether that new bottle in your bar is a spirit or liqueur can help you swap it into classic cocktails and even create your recipes.
The “pop” and fizz we hear and see when opening a soft drink are caused by the sudden release of carbon dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide is an inert, odorless, colorless, and nonpoisonous natural gas that is cheap to produce and acts as a mild preservative.
Glucose, sucrose (a disaccharide carbohydrate that is made of sugar and fructose molecules), artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame-K, and natural sweeteners such as thaumatin, isomaltulose, and d-tagatose are all used in soft drinks to add sweetness. In addition, a variety of oils and spices are added for flavoring.
Many soft drink recipes are constantly changing, resulting in a wide range of flavors. Unlike beer, soft drinks do not spoil because of their acidity and carbonation; however, small amounts of preservatives are added to keep them fresh. In cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, increased soft drink consumption is associated with lower intakes of milk and calcium and higher energy intake.