The process of learning to match food and wine together is not a complex one. A few simple guidelines will help you choose successfully the right wine and food pairing, thus enhancing what you are eating. The three most important things to note during food and wine pairing is the following:
- Eat and drink what you like: As much as you are trying to make a perfect choice, it is better to choose a wine you would drink by itself instead of trying to match the drink with the meal and not liking the style of wine.
- Look for the balance: It is essential to consider the weights of the meal and the wine to ensure that neither is overwhelming the other.
- Match the wine to the most prominent element in the dish: Often, the sauce, seasoning or cooking style is the dominant element in the meal and identity. It is critical to choosing the right wine.
However, we might decide to get more advanced with our selection and study to understand how the six fundamental flavours react with one another. The six flavours include the following: acid, fat, salt, sweet, bitter (tannin), and alcohol (spice).
Acid + Acid
The first course dishes usually are acidic like salads, sea fare, and tapenade. When consuming an acidic dish with wine, it is important that the acidity of the wine is higher than the dish unless the wine would taste flat. Champagne and white wine is a great choice in this category.
Bitter + Fat
In red wine, due to the presence of tannins, it usually tastes bitter. The best dish to complement the red wine is steak. The type of spice used to prepare the meat also determine how interesting the combo becomes. For vegetarians who do not eat meat, they can complement the red wine with nuts, oils or cheese.
Acid + Fat
Acid and fat are a great combo because acid balances the fat a vice-versa. A perfect example is a combo of white wine and butter sauce, where the acidity of the wine makes the butter pop.
Sweet and Spicy
With spicy dishes, a glass of sweet wine is needed to cut the burn in the food. The wine acts as a cleanser and helps the consumer enjoy the spicy flavours.
Salty and Sweet
This combination is very good but ensures that if the dish is sweet, the wine is sweeter.
Alcohol + Fat
Alcohol is best matched with either sweet, fat or salty dishes. When an individual is having a dessert meal, the best choice of wine is high alcohol wine.
When combining food and wine pairing, it is advised to avoid bitter + bitter and spice + spice combination for a pleasant meal experience.