If you're like many consumers, you try to eat organic food whenever possible to limit your exposure to chemical pesticides as well as to do your part to reduce your overall carbon footprint. You may also have discovered that organic food somehow tastes better to you — but if you enjoy wine with your meals, you may also have noticed that your usual go-to wine choices don't quite do the job when paired with organic food. Successfully pairing wine with organic foods isn't difficult, however, once you get a few basics down. Here's what you need to know about pairing wine with organic food.
Organic Produce Is Usually Fresher
Organically produced produce tends to be fresher than its commercial grown counterpart, which means it's got a stronger flavor profile, especially when fruits and vegetables are served raw — and that means that soft, delicate wines may be overpowered when meals include organic produce. Instead of smooth, fragile Chardonnay, serve something like white Merlot or Pinot Gris during the salad course. These wines have strong fruity accents that complement uncooked, freshly harvested salad ingredients, yet they're light enough to be served with salads.
Organic Red Meats Are Usually Leaner
Grass-fed livestock produces leaner cuts of meat than their grain-fed counterparts, and this means that you can get away with enjoying it with lighter wines rather than the heavy, rich red wines that are commonly paired with red meat. You can also get away with serving a less acidic wine with organically grown meat because acidic wines are generally recommended for courses featuring foods with high fat content. A good rule of thumb when deciding on a red wine to enjoy with organically grown red is go down one notch on the richness scale. Instead of opening a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance, go for a Pinot Noir instead.
Organic Restaurants Season With Herbs and Spices
One of the main secrets of chefs in traditional restaurants is to use a lot of butter and salt as a quick way to enhance the flavor of pretty much any savory dish. Cooks in organic restaurants, however, are far more likely to craft a flavor profile with the help of herbs and spices — so when it comes to the main course, choose a wine with a spicy or herbal bouquet such as Beaujolais or red Merlot. Organic wines are also available, so don't hesitate to ask your server to recommend one the next time your visit an organic restaurant.