To achieve the best match, it is important to balance the basic components in both the food and the wine. Do you know how to choose a right alcohol that will go perfectly with your meal? The one thing you always need to keep in mind is never having a wine that will overpower the food and vice versa.
So, the main thing you are looking for is a classing parring.
There are several elements of wine such as sugar, acid, fruit, tannins and alcohol. There are also flavor components of food like Fat, Acid, Salt, Sweet, Bitter and Texture. When you want to match them, think about how these elements are going to work together.
Serve your wine carefully with the proper equipment.
What is your dominant flavor? Is it sweet, citrusy or salty? These are the elements you want to consider for food and wine pairing. Follow these basic rules, and you will quickly learn how to match them like a pro.
Rule number 1 – Acid needs acid
When comparing the wine with a dish, consider the acid balance between them. If the food has a high acidic level, then you need to pair it with the light citrusy acidic white wine. For example, a dish Chicken Picatta, roasted fish with citrus or pasta with tomato sauce will match perfectly with a bright citrusy Pino griot or Sauvignon Blanc.
Serving this combination, will bring the taste of a fresh lemon in your dish. If you prefer a red wine, choose the low tannin, high acid one. This way, you will increase the taste of the acid in your food.
Rule number 2 – Tannins need fat
Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in seeds, plants, wood, bark, fruit skins and leaves. As a component of the wine, it adds both astringency and bitterness, as well as complexity. They are generally found in the red one, but it can also be found in the white one that has aged in wooden barrels.
It will give you that pucker, bitter feeling in your throat. To balance it, combine it with the fat that will soften the tannin and give a smoother taste. If you prefer food that has higher fat contents like a prime, braised duck or grilled sausages you need a beverage that will balance it out.
Pair it with a bold red wine, like a Malbec, Tannat or a Cabernet, so that the tannins could balance out the fat elements.
Rule number 3 – Heat needs sweet
If you serving a meal that is a little bit spicy, you are going to need a lighter, slightly sweet beverage to pair it with. A good example will be a Riesling or white zinfandel. A spicy dish always goes best with the sweeter, low alcohol wine.
Even if you don’t like this type of beverage, you will be surprised how great this combination is. Use the right refrigerator to keep it cool.
Rule number 4 – Salty needs bubbles
Pairing salty or fried food with a right alcohol can be little hard. The carbonation of the sparkling wine adds a whole different texture and brings a new flavor to it. There is a chemical process between alcohol and salt that will give different elements to the food.
When pairing it with a salty dish, it is recommended to use fruity, crisp or acidic one. One of the best salty-friendly wines includes Pinot Grigio and crisp rose. When the bowl of potato chips, a plate of fried chicken, or a basket of fried calamari comes your way, there is no need to reach for a beer.
One of the most delicious classic pairings is Sauvignon Blanc and the briny oysters.
Rule number 5 – Earthy needs earthy
Earthiness flavor is often found in reds, such as Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir. They are a great combination with the earthy ingredients, like wild mushrooms and bison rib eye steaks with roasted garlic. Old world wine is always a good choice.
It can be very tart. However, if you pair it with some earthy food, it will taste fruitier. When you serve it, a proper wine glass is a must.
Rule number 6 – Fruity needs fruity dish
The most traditional use for fruity wine is that it goes perfectly with the sweet desserts. These beverages are also great for accompanying dishes with, that can include a prominent fruit component. For example, the perfect match for it are Belgian waffles topped with fruit or salads containing it.
Best wines for this are Muscat, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Viognier.
Rule number 7 – Salt and acidity pairing
The acidity in the wine is a great contrast to a salty food. It will modify its searing texture and subdue the tart flavors. Many chefs add salt to remove the tartness of vinegar and lemon.
Salt changes alcohols prickly acidity and creates a smoother mouth feel.
Rule number 8 – Salt and sweet pairing
Pairing salty food with sweet wine will give you a delicious contrast. This combination will make this beverage feel less sweet and food less salty. A classic pairing of this is Port and blue cheese.
You could also try matching an American Riesling that is slightly sweet, and the Asian dish seasoned with soy sauce. This is a great combination.
Rule number 9 – Match textures and flavors
Combine alcohol and food that have similar textures and flavors. An easy way to do this is to pair flavor food with flavor wines, rich food with rich wines. When they have some similar qualities, they complement each other.
The perfect match is California Chardonnay paired with the lobster with butter sauce, or French Chablis and raw oysters.
Rule number 10 – Oak with smoke
Combine charred or grilled food with the wines that have been aged on oak. They can overwhelm the flavors in a dish because they are usually more intense. Grilled or charred food will bring that fruit flavor of it.
A good choice is a California Chardonnay. For this type of wine, it is best to be paired with the food that matches their intensity.
The right choice depends on a personal taste. Follow these basic rules for a perfect food and wine matching. The exploration into pairing them is exciting, with discovery at every turn.