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Combining food with the ideal wine – wine pairing – is a precise procedure that may help enrich the dining experience. It is a method of balancing complementary tastes in an effort to increase the enjoyment of each ingredient.

However, wine pairing is more than just matching foods and wines based on their quality; it’s also about maximizing the benefits that each element adds to the overall experience. It’s a complex technique you can learn in the best red wine clubs. But before you do that, let’s teach you the basics!

Why Is Food & Wine Pairing Important?

Food and wine should be complementary to one another, with neither overpowering the other’s flavor. To get a healthy balance, don’t match opposing flavors; rather, pair similar ones. For a delicious, delicate experience, choose a robust red wine with a hefty dish of lamb or perhaps a light-bodied white wine alongside grilled fish. Contrasting flavors can occasionally complement one other, such as fried rice and a sweet Riesling.

How to Pair Food and Wine? 8 Simple Rules To Follow!

Wine and food (pizza) matching doesn’t have to be complicated. Use these straightforward rules when dating with assurance!

#1: Intensity and Nature of Flavors Should Match

Wine and food flavors that are similar are complementary. For instance, Pinot Gris and fish with a lemon sauce both have citrus flavors and go well together.

Pair mild wines with mild dishes. Big, flavorful wines should be paired with big, flavorful dishes. Consider combining pepper steak with just a hot, powerful shiraz.

Similar to this, you should usually pair a rich wine with a rich meal. For instance, serve a rich Chardonnay with chicken in a cream sauce.

#2: Maintain A Similar Weight for The Meal and The Wine

We do not refer to weight in terms of pounds or kilograms. We’re talking about mixing lighter foods (usually lower in fat) with lighter type wines and heavier, richer foods with heavier weight wines when we talk about balancing food weight to the wine.

More delicate wines go well with lighter fare like chicken and fish. White wine is the natural option, but light, low-tannin reds often perform wonderfully.

#3: Consider Acidity

Young Riesling and other high-acid wines are frequently drunk after consuming fatty foods like Indian curries or thick, buttery sauces to help the palate feel cleansed.

Pair a crisp, dry pinot grigio with a food that contains a lot of acids, such as a salad and vinegar-based dressing.

Compared to wines from hot regions, those from cold climes will have greater acidity.

#4: Richer, Heavier Foods Will Mellow The Harsh Tannins

What is tannin, first of all? Actually, tannins originate from a variety of sources, most famously the peels of the grapes that are used to make wine, but they can also be found in the oak barrels used to mature wine. Tannin has a mouth-puckering flavor that is comparable to what you would experience if you chewed on a teabag.

Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon go nicely with steak because of their astringent flavors, which assist in cleansing the palette after a filling meal.

#5: Do Not Combine Salt with Tannin

Salty flavors are balanced with crisp, acidic wines. For instance, our pal Sauvignon Blanc harmonizes feta cheese and salty olives.

But a little sweetness also improves and balances salty dishes. Think about how good it is to eat melon with parma ham!

The same may be done with wine: cool-climate Pinot Gris or any somewhat sweet wine, such as Sauternes, a gorgeously sweet wine out from the Bordeaux region, is a renowned pairing with salty, pungent Roquefort cheese.

#6: The Wine Should Be At Least As Sweet As The Dish

A bottle of wine should generally be paired with food that is at least as sweet as it is, if not sweeter. Dry wines feel too harsh and acidic when paired with sweet meals.

Rich dishes such as pâté are best combined with sweet wines with moderate acidity, like Sauternes. The sweetness of the wine will balance out the food’s richness, while the acidity will break through the pâté’s fat content.

#7: Spicy Wines Go Well with Spicy Cuisine

Sweeter wines provide a counterbalance to hot dishes.

The flavors of wine can be destroyed by intense spices, such as spicy chilies found in Thai and Indian food. Wine is typically not the best beverage to consume.

If wine is more your thing, though, think of something hot and sweet on its own, like an off-dry Gewürztraminer as well as Riesling.

#8: Complement The Sauce

Use your complimentary and congruent wine pairing strategies to try matching the wine with the provided sauce. For instance, try pairing chardonnay and sauvignon blanc with cream and mushroom sauces, red and meat sauces with shiraz, and delicate citrus sauces with those wines. No sauce? No issue! When presenting food without a sauce, just pair the wine with the meat, fish, or fowl.

10 Quick Recommendations You’ll Love

Here are the lovely wine pairing combinations I recommend.

  • Salmon and Chardonnay
  • Red meat and Cabernet
  • Rosé with cheese-based foods
  • Tart flavors and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Grigio wine and seafood
  • Pinot Noir with earthy flavors
  • Salty and sparkling flavors
  • Dishes with spices and Syrah
  • Riesling wine and spicy, sweet flavors
  • Rich plates and Zinfandel

The Bottom Line – Always Select Food and Wine That You Love

You should make sure the wine you choose to accompany your meal is one you enjoy. You won’t likely enjoy a glass of white wine with meals if you don’t often drink them. Keep doing what you like, then go out from there.

The most important thing to keep in mind with wine pairing is that wine and food matching is arbitrary. While there are certain basic criteria for pairing wine and food, these are not absolutes. Instead, follow your own preferences, and you won’t go wrong.

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