How To Put Together Dazzling Wine And Coffee Pairings
Wine is the 2nd most popular alcoholic beverage in the USA, and 64% of Americans drink at least a cup of coffee daily, according to the National Coffee Association. Since both drinks are beloved in America, why not pair them? While the conventional wisdom is that coffee and wine don't go together, some chefs and wine experts disagree. True believers in wine and coffee pairings include wine expert, Harvey Steiman, and restaurant owner, Shawn Steiman. These brothers think that coffee brings out the nuances in fine wines. Wine and coffee pairings are becoming fashionable options for entertaining, which offer a touch of welcome novelty, as well as great taste.
How to get started
To set things up, order a few superior bottles of wine, including a full-bodied red (perhaps a Bordeaux?) and one lighter red, such as a Pinot Noir, along with a white that is crisp and fresh (Chardonnay is a good example). You'll also need to choose three types of caffeinated or decaf coffee beans, in light, medium and dark roasts. If you'll be doing the coffee and wine pairing in the evening, when people want to relax and unwind, you may be better off making coffee from the decaf beans, which will offer a rich coffee taste, without the caffeine jitters. For a lunchtime pairing, beans that contain caffeine may fit the bill. If you're inviting guests to your wine and coffee pairing, be sure to ask about their caffeine vs. decaf preferences. Some people are sensitive to caffeine (it might give them a stomachache or a headache) and prefer to avoid it. Others enjoy the caffeine buzz, and will welcome its effects.
Pairing tips for newbies
Pair a robust red with an espresso shot for perfect balance. A more delicate red will be a perfect match for coffee prepared in a drip brewer, while a refreshing white wine will be an ideal counterpart to an immersion-brewed coffee. When choosing coffee beans, go for types that suit each wine. Beans for espresso should be dark and bold, to pair with a bolder red. Coffee beans meant to pair with a red that isn't as full-bodied should be medium-roast beans. The taste of drip-brewed coffee made from medium-roast beans won't overpower a lighter red. Immersion-brewed coffee tends to be weaker than drip-brewed coffee, and immersion-brewed coffee prepared to pair with white wine should be made from light roast beans, which offer great flavor, but less intensity.
If you only make coffee one way (via immersion or drip brewing), just stick with your usual method. To get variety, rely on the three different roasts, each of which will complement the boldness or delicacy of the wines that you've chosen. If you don't make espresso, substitute a very rich cup of coffee for the espresso, in the darkest possible roast.
What's interesting about putting together these pairings is the creativity of the process, so have fun with it. Don't forget to offer some exciting snacks to nibble on, such as fine cheeses, fruit and chocolate. Then, get ready to host an enjoyable and memorable event.