William Pokhlebkin, an expert in world cooking, believed that the only possible partners for vodka were dishes of national Russian cuisine. The traditions of the snack table in Russia were finally formed by the XVIII century — just during the heyday of home distilling, so vodka and numerous snack options were literally created for each other.
Meat, meat-flour and fish dishes are ideal, fatty, spicy and salty are only welcome. Pokhlebkin noted that vodka promotes the assimilation of such heavy food, producing a kind of refreshing effect: you will not overeat, and you will not fail ahead of time.
From meat dishes, it makes sense to choose dumplings, jelly, boiled tongue, aspic veal, salted bacon or ham. Among soups, there seems to be no better companion for vodka than solyanka.
For all these types of snacks, vodka, mustard and horseradish are mandatory as components that enhance their gastronomic appeal and shade their taste properties.
Fish snacks are, of course, traditional herring with sunflower oil and onions, caviar (if also with pancakes, then it's generally beautiful), aspic sturgeon and smoked smelt, muksun, omul and pink salmon.
With vegetables, everything is obvious: pickles and tomatoes, sauerkraut and mushrooms — salted or pickled. Vinaigrette is perfect for vodka (Pohlebkin suggested a variant with chopped egg and a small amount of herring) and even boiled potatoes, if it is accompanied by herring with onions and butter.
Snacks for vodka: dumplings, solyanka, herring with sunflower oil and onions, smoked fish, pickles, vinaigrette.
White — for fish, red — for meat: such a reinforced concrete rule is usually followed when choosing wine for a meal. In fact, everything is much more interesting. The main thing to know is that the finer the taste and aroma of the wine, the simpler, more neutral and more delicate the snack should be.
Accordingly, leave hearty dishes with spices and sauces for wines, the taste of which is not so easy to score. For example, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel or merlot will make great friends with a spicy meat stew, but sauvignon blanc will seem rather pale against its background, but with fish — the very thing.
Another curious and not the most obvious advice is to focus on the texture of the dish when choosing wine: if it is clearly expressed, then the wine should be with character. So, for grilled beef, more tart wines are suitable than for tender veal or stew.
In a situation where you want to limit yourself to a light snack, cheese is out of competition. It goes best with white wines, but you can pair it with red. Camembert and brie are good with both riesling and Beaujolais or pinot noir, cheddar and gouda are suitable for chardonnay, zinfandel and shiraz. Mozzarella, feta and goat cheese will make an excellent company of chablis, chardonnay, pinot gris and chianti.
Wine and fruit are quite a good combination when it comes to wines whose taste and aroma clearly show fruit notes: muscat or Gewurztraminer. If you want to experiment, try the same gewurztraminer or riesling with Asian dishes — the combination promises to be interesting.
As for sparkling wines, brut and semi-dry are good with chicken, fish, and seafood. For fatty meat and spicy dishes, these are not the best companions, although it is not forbidden to wash down a steak with brute. Save the semi-sweet sparkling wine for dessert, but remember that it should not be too cloying. For example, oriental sweets are definitely not suitable, a good wine against their background will seem even sour.
In extreme cases, there is a cheat trick: choose dishes related to the cuisine of the region where your wine comes from. It will be quite difficult to miss.
Snacks for wine: meat dishes, cheese, fruits, moderately sweet desserts.
It would seem that why invent something when there is salted fish, pigtail cheese and chips in the world? You can not show off and drink beer under crackers, but in this approach to the choice of snacks there is no inspiration, no flight of thought. Good beer — good food.
For example, a light lager is a light and refreshing beer , which is perfect for spicy dishes with a rich taste. Something from Italian, Spanish or Mexican cuisine is an ideal choice. If contrasts do not attract, chicken, seafood or typical bar snacks — cheese balls, French fries and all that are at your service. A very simple option is cheese, it is better to choose soft or semi—hard varieties.
Light vegetable salads (sounds strange, but it really is), seafood dishes (including sushi and rolls) and Bavarian sausages will make a decent company for unfiltered wheat beer.
With ales, everything is simple — choose meat, you will not lose. Burgers, steaks, chicken wings with hot sauces, pizza — food without any special claims, which will best set off the taste of beer.
Stout and porter are created for people who equally like to drink and eat well. Here the heavy artillery comes into play: stews, goulash, potato casseroles and grilled meat. From the unexpected — chocolate, pastries based on it and desserts with coffee and caramel. Yes, beer is friends not only with pig ears and dried bream. The simplest brownie will make a very good company for a glass of porter.
Lambic is good with light desserts — cheesecakes, ice cream and fruit, and they can be presented in any form: even by themselves, even as a component of fruit salads. If you want to eat more thoroughly, meat with fruit or berry sauces will be very in the subject.
Beer snacks: cheese, meat and poultry dishes, seafood, desserts with chocolate, caramel and coffee, fruits.
Attention, tear off the covers: cognac, in principle, does not need a snack. A good drink is fine in itself, but nothing will help a lousy cognac.
If you still have a desire to have a snack, lean meat, hard cheese and dark chocolate will help out. Tartlets with caviar or sandwiches with pate will be very useful, as well as fruits — pears or grapes, which can complement a cheese plate. Seafood and mushrooms as snacks are usually not considered, but in vain — try, for example, to make friends with cognac and bruschetta with wild mushrooms.
Jamming cognac with lemon is an extremely dubious idea, because it completely interrupts the impression of the drink. In the case of bad cognac, it's even for the best, but why drink such a mess?
Cognac snacks: chocolate, meat, cheese, fruit, seafood, mushrooms.
Whiskey and melon are a wild combination at first glance, which still has the right to life. Fruits and berries can be a good accompaniment for whiskey, so for the next feast, save pears, apples, peaches and grapes.
Seafood is a nice option, as well as red fish, such as lightly salted salmon or salmon. Meat will also be appropriate if it is presented in the form of steak, ham or roast.
Finally, cheese is the most versatile snack of all possible. There are no strict restrictions here, both soft and hard varieties will do. No one will beat your hands even for experimenting with whiskey and cheese with mold — well, are you looking for new combinations, it's commendable.
Whiskey snacks: fruits, seafood, meat, cheese.
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