Basics of Wine Pairing
Considered as a form of art, wine pairing is a skill that is explored for years and is studied by professionals like chefs and sommeliers. But what if you are not one of them? Well, nothing stops a man who wants to learn, right? Thus, here are the basics that you need to be familiar with so that you can get started with wine pairing.
Rule 1: Aim to compliment
Wine shouldn’t be overpowering your food. Instead, it should be complimenting it. Think of it as an extra relish to spice up your food. Different seasonings interact differently with your meal, right? And as someone who would want to make it right, you would want to get the right seasoning.
There are just some pairings that are a match made in heaven which makes the dishes and wine go perfectly well that would make one not go without it. Here are some tips on the food and wine pairing:
• Acidic foods are equivalent to acidic wines
• Fatty foods are equivalent for tannins
• Spicy foods are equivalent to sweet wines
• Salty foods are equivalent for sweet (preferably sparkling) wines
• Sweet foods are equivalent to little acidic wines
With these flavor matching, it would surely lessen your long list of wines for your food and wine pairing.
Rule 2: Intensity Matching
If you are still confused about the pairings after those listed above, then here is a natural, foolproof rule that you can use anytime. Match up the intensity when pairing wine and foods since it is the quickest way of ensuring that both won’t overpower each other.
For example, if your menu is composed of salads, vegetables, eggs or fishes, then it would be well-matched with delicate wines like Riesling or Pinot Noir. For your moderate hearty meals like baked chicken or dishes with thick sauces, moderate hearty wines would suit them best such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Lastly, for rich meals like braised beef or spicy curry, strong and bold wines would pair them well like the Bordeaux blends.
Rule 3 : Be guided with the dominant flavour
Let the dominant flavor of your dish guide you with your wine pairing that is if your dish is going to have lots of flavors. What you need to do is to know and choose what is the most dominant, outstanding, and noticeable flavor in your dish, then pair it up with a wine that suits it best.
Rule 4: Food and Wine Pairing
Here are some selected foods that bring out the flavour of both the food and wine which would surely burst into different sensations for your palate.
Muscadet for Oyster Dishes
Muscadet is a light-bodied, bone-dry white wine which is made with Melon de Bourgogne grapes. With its citrus-like taste and high acidity, it is loved for its excellence in food pairing for seafood like mussels, oysters, and the likes since it heightens the fresh flavor from these dishes!
If you are wondering what some similar pairings that you should try are, then why not try checking out some lightly oaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for your mussels, oysters, clams and white fish dishes.
Pinot Noir for Duck Dishes
One of the most popular light-bodied red wine and is loved for its floral, red fruit, and spice aromas which are accentuated by a long, smooth finish. The Pinot Noir is your go-to for duck composed meals. This wine is very versatile as it is high in acidity but is lower in tannin.
This is the reason why it goes ethereally well with a menu that has duck as the main dish. Notably, it also pairs well with chicken, pork, and mushrooms.
Bordeaux for Lamb Dishes
Bordeaux has plum, black currant, graphite, violet, and cedar as its primary flavor. The red wines from Bordeaux are medium-to-full-bodied which makes you taste a burst of mineral and fruit notes.
Since the boldness of Bordeaux compliments the gamey flavor and the umami in the lamb’s meat, both are a perfect pair for each other. The fatty richness of the meat and the rich and bold personality of Bordeaux helps absorb the wine’s tannins making it a heavenly taste to the palate.
Surely choosing a wine for a menu wouldn’t be as difficult as it seems the first time you know nothing of wines and food pairing, right? If you have absorbed all the information above, choosing wines for your food will now be a piece of cake for you.
Remember, that in choosing wines, it is important to know yours and your guests' preferences to cut down your long list of wines to prepare for the occasion, like opting for sokolin red wines or going for some sparkling wines.