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Wedding Hors d’oeuvres Food and Drink Pairing
March 21, 2014 • Posted by Alexandra Supel

Choosing what hors d’oeuvres to serve at your wedding can be a stressful decision. Trying to figure out what drinks to pair it with can be even harder! We’ve compiled a list of great food and drink pairings that you can serve at your wedding. If you have an open bar, you might want to serve the hors d’oeuvres together with the drinks right away and avoid any pairing confusion.

Wine
Cheeses are great hors d’oeuvres for any occasion and especially for weddings. When pairing different wines with cheeses, the traditional rule is that red wine pairs with harder cheeses and white wine pairs best with softer cheeses. There are, however, exceptions to this rule! For example, Cabernet Sauvignon works beautifully with Brie and Chardonnay tastes great with mild cheddar.

Besides cheeses, try pairing white wine with seafood—particularly crab cakes or oysters. Chardonnay is the popular choice for white wine and works very well with crab cakes, but its full-bodied profile may overpower some other delicate seafood. For oysters, opt for a Sauvignon Blanc, which is delicate enough to compliment the meat yet retain its own flavor. The combination is perfect for spring and summer weddings.

Red wine works best with dark meats and heavy tomato based recipes. For wedding hors d’oeuvres, try pairing the bold flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon with meatballs or the delicate medium-bodied Pinot Noir with lamb chops.

Beer
Although spirit and food pairing is most synonymous with wine, micro-brew craft beers offer great options for wedding hors d’oeuvres food pairing. With all the bold and often complex flavors used in craft beers, from chocolate and fruit to coffee, the possibilities are endless!

Most Ales, from ambers to porters, compliment all beef recipes. Sliders are great crowd pleasers and pair perfectly with Pale Ales. Porters work best with any type of smoked or BBQ meats, such as sausages or blackened fish. Pilsners and lagers are typically paired with poultry and pork, such as grilled chicken, salmon, and roasted pork. When it comes to shrimp, try pairing it with a light-bodied Pale Ale or a Pilsner.

When pairing beers and cheeses, a Blonde Ale best compliments nutty cheeses and Monterey Jack. Strong Golden Ale tastes best when paired with St. Andres or any type of triple-créme cheese. Amber lagers compliment white cheddar and jack cheese.

Others
Perhaps you want to serve caviar at your wedding reception—what does that pair with? Well, vodka and caviar have been known as a customary and perfect pair in the world of gastronomy. Although they are ideal compliments for each other, remember a few rules. In order to best experience the combination, make sure the vodka is high quality and well chilled (vodka can remain in a freezer to best retain the cold). Serve the vodka in shot glasses or tumblers, and over ice, if desired. A thin strip of lemon zest can be added to the vodka for a slight flavor that won’t overpower the flavor of the caviar.

If vodka is not your style, champagne is another great compliment to caviar. The saltiness of the caviar and the sweet, crispness of champagne counterpoint each other and ensure a delicious balance.

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