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Pairing Food And Wine Is Not Simple

Posted on August 13, 2023 by Efrain Fernandez

Food and wine pairing isn't a precise science. Lots of people follow the old rule of paring burgandy or merlot wine with red meat and white wine with poultry and fish.

Unfortunately this outdated rule doesn't consider the complexity of today's multi-ethnic, highly textured or spiced foods because they relate with the wide variety of wines on the market.

The new rule when pairing food and wine would be to try to achieve the proper degree of synergy and balance. Simply, whatever the food texture or spices in the meals, your wine shouldn't overpower the meals and the meals shouldn't overpower your wine.

The basic flavors within food may also be within wine. Those flavors include sweet, tart, sour, acidic, bitter and salty (not within wine, but affects flavor). Furthermore, because wine has alcohol, it adds aromas and body, making your wine and food taste richer.

In order to improve your success at pairing food and wine you must do a couple of things.

  • Balance the weight, texture and intensity of the meals which means you don't overwhelm one or the other
  • Determine the principal taste sensations in food. Could it be sweet, salty, sour, bitter or savory?
  • Complement the components in your wine (alcohol, acid, sugar and tannin) by balancing foods with exactly the same components. The strongest flavor of the meals is highly recommended the principal component (chicken, beef, fish etc.) to be paired with an identical wine component.
  • Here are two guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Wine seems sweeter and less tannic when paired with foods which have a solid salty, sour or bitter taste
  • Wine seems more tannic, less sweet and much more acidic when paired with foods which have a solid sweet or savory taste
  • You have to think about wine being an additional condiment or spice that could go nicely with the meals. Once you drink wine alone without food, it includes a completely different taste than it can once you drink it with food. The reason being wine acts as type of a spice alone. After the wine is paired with food, acids, tannins and sugars in your wine interact with the meals to supply different taste sensations for various kinds of foods eaten.

    Bitter flavors in food raise the taste of bitter, tannic elements in wine. Foods which are sour or salty suppress the bitter taste in wine. Salt in food may also tone down the bitterness to create sweet wines taste even sweeter. Salt, lemon, vinegar, and mustard seasonings may be used to add spice to foods to attain balance and help pair foods to wines better. Furthermore, they are able to either make your wine taste milder or stronger.

    If you serve a dish which has citrus or vinegar (acidic), you then should choose an acidic wine with regard to balance. Remember though that should you have a dish that's only lightly acidic, it is possible to pair it nicely with a lightly sweet wine. Some acidic wines to take into account include Sauvignon Blanc & most sparkling wines like Champagne. As the acidity within wines tones down saltiness, sparkling wines generally pair better with salty foods than most red wines.

    It is well known that wine can boost the entire eating experience by enhancing the flavor of foods. In the event that you pair the proper wine with the proper foods, it is possible to benefit from the uniqueness of both foods and your wine. The trick would be to find similarities and/or contrasts in flavor, body (texture), intensity, and taste.