Most of us have no problem choosing a wine. Almost none of us have a problem choosing food.But ask us to pair food and wine and many of us go into a tizzy. There are no hard and fast rules. What you
like is what is right. But that being said, here are some guidelines on how I pair wine with food.
Well fear not, out of my drunkenness and gluttony I have come up with a few rules to make it a little simpler. I will use taste and wine body to set up a few guidelines.
Wine Body and Taste
We will use wine body and taste to determine which wine to pair with food.
Taste is something basic that all of us understand. All of us can perceive the same tastes:
Now wine body is a slightly harder concept. Let me also explain what is meant by full-bodied and light wines. If you drink a wine and there is a sensation of a coating on your tongue and all the way down your throat, it is a full-bodied wine, sort of like sipping half and half. If it leaves a thin coating, it is medium-heavy, and if it does not linger, it is a light wine.
Seven Rules to Pair Food and Wine.
With taste and wine body in mind, it is possible to set down a general guide to pairing wine with food (Do remember though, this is from people who drink and eat a little too much and whether you should follow the habits of such people, I leave to your discretion).
Match heavy/rich foods with full bodied wines. Like a California Cabernet Sauvignon with a hangar steak or a chicken in cream sauce with a new world Chardonnay or white Bordeaux.
Pair lighter foods like white fish with a Pinot Grigio or an Albarino.
Match acids or sour foods with acids. Like a tomato based dish with Sauvignon Blanc or a Verdejo.
Sweet foods heighten the perception of sourness and bitterness in wines. Match them with a sweeter wine. Pair a dessert with a Riesling or a Vouvray. That, I think is called getting your just desserts.
Salty foods enhance the fruity character of a wine. Pair them with champagne or California Zinfandel. Olives and Feta cheese with Champagne or Blue cheese with the Zinfandel.
Bitter foods increase the perception of bitterness in wines. Match them with a simple off-dry wine like salad greens with a Riesling.
Now we come to the no-no’s. Cream and acidic wine taste horrible. Go ahead try it.Spicy food will clash with most wine flavours. Pair spicy foods with a simple wine – an off dry Gewurtzraminer or Riesling or an Extra Dry Champagne(my favorite).
To make it simpler, I’ve classified the most commonly purchased varietals according to their body. Use the list below to narrow down the choice of wine to pair with your dinner (or lunch or breakfast) and then decide on which particular wine matches the flavor of your meal. If you have a knowledgeable retailer, take his/her help.
Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Chablis
White- Medium Heavy
New world(esp.California) Chardonnays, White Bordeaux, White Burgundy and Rhone whites
Red – Light bodied
Beaujolais, Dolcetto, most non-French Pinot Noir
Medium Bodied Reds
Burgundy, Rioja, Chianti, Merlot and Merlot based Bordeaux.
Barbaresco and Barolos, Brunello, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet based Bordeaux and Malbec
So, how would you answer George’s question? Let us know in the comments.
Do you have any suggestions or questions? If so, please let us know in the comments section.
This is from Vik
Whose wife thinks will Sink
Because of his fondness for Drink.
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