The right iced tea can complement your meal.

Pairing food with the right iced tea flavor

It's true! Just as certain wines can be matched with certain foods, the same is true of pairing iced tea with your favorite meals.

But before you start worrying whether that gallon of Peach Tea you just bought will clash with the meatloaf you're making tomorrow night, remember this tidbit from Turkey Hill's Head Brewmaster, Tom Wright: "Like matching wine and food, the iced tea rules aren't an exact science and it's really just a matter of personal preference, but there are a few general guidelines you might want to consider during your next barbecue or picnic."

Choose a tea that won't overpower the food or be overpowered by the food. Tom calls this "matching weights."

Tom's Tip: "A heavy, sweet Raspberry Tea would not go well with a light potato salad or grilled fish. Instead, balance those dishes with a zesty Lemonade or Peach Tea, with their seamless and elegant finish. For a big cheeseburger or a steak, I'd choose the full-bodied Green Tea Mango, with its rich and plush fruit flavor or maybe even a more robust Decaffeinated Tea."

Chicken and pasta are neutral foods that pair well with most teas, but the sauces will make the difference when selecting the right beverage.

Tom's Tip: "Choose a richer, fuller-bodied tea like Turkey Hill's Sweet Tea for heavy, meaty sauces. With lighter, cream-based sauces, try a drier option like Green Tea."

With snacks, personal preference is the rule.

Tom's Tip: "This is where it gets tricky. There are so many variances in saltiness, sweetness and texture with most snacks that it makes choosing the right tea a little challenging. Just trust your gut and chances are you'll be okay."

When in doubt, go with regular iced tea.

Tom's Tip: "Turkey Hill's time-tested iced tea is a very balanced, middle-ground beverage that seems to pair well with just about any food. Also consider most diet teas, which tend to be drier and slightly less sweet, as other neutral options."

With desserts, try a complementary or contrasting flavor and choose the rule that suits your taste buds.

Tom's Tip: "Some people might prefer to balance a sweet dessert with a sweet tea, while others will contrast it with a drier tea. Like a lot of match-ups, it can go either way, but it's up to you to decide which direction suits your taste."

Still not sure which tea goes with which menu item? Don't worry. Take a look at our Iced Tea and Food Pairing Chart. It should help you get the most out of your next meal.