No matter how much talent, skill, and passion you put into preparing a delicious meal, pairing it with the wrong wine can undermine all your efforts. The flavor and taste of certain foods can be enhanced by pairing them with the right wine, whereas the wrong choice of wine can make a meal less appetizing.
Pairing food and wine is not difficult, but it requires some specialized knowledge. If you ever wondered about the rules and secrets behind this, read on.
Balancing the Flavors is Key
The first secret to food and wine pairing is to maintain a balance of flavors, not allowing the flavors of the dish to overpower the flavor of the wine, nor vice-versa. If the wine has a strong flavor, you may miss the tastiness of the meal. Similarly, if the food has strong flavors, you won’t be able to appreciate the specialness of the wine. Remember that balance should be achieved in terms of richness and texture too.
Finding the Dominant Flavor
Each meal has a dominant flavor. Maybe it’s the sauce, the seasoning, or a specific ingredient that stands out. It’s important to recognize the most intense flavor of a dish because this is the flavor that will dictate which wine you should put on the table. However, the cooking method also plays a role, so an ingredient can show strong flavors in one dish but have a negligible flavor in another one.
Red Wine or White Wine?
The next secret is easy to remember: red wine pairs well with red meat and white wine with light meat such as chicken or fish. Red wine enhances the juicy flavor of a good steak, whereas white wine is more acidic, so it adds a refreshing flavor to fish and light chicken meat. When preparing a meal, keep this rule in mind. Online wine store purchases are the easiest way to replenish your stock of red and white wines, so you always have the right wine near you to accompany your dinner.
Things to Remember
- The wine must be more acidic than the food so the food will taste fresh.
- The bitterness of some red wines can be balanced with fat.
- Many red wines contain tannins that give them a heavier texture and thus make them more suitable for dishes with a similarly heavy texture.
- Both red and white wines can have a wide range of flavors, from spicy to floral, so there’s a lot of room to experiment with food and wine pairings.
- Old wines have a more delicate taste, so it’s best to pair them with dishes that are not overly flavored or spicy.
- Sweet foods pair well with wines that are also a bit sweet.
- Salty foods emphasize the astringent characteristic of tannins in red wine, making it seem too harsh.
In Conclusion: Personal Preferences Play a Role
No matter what specialists recommend, taste is something personal. When it comes to food and wine pairings, personal preferences play a role too. By learning to recognize good wines and to complement the flavors of a dish with the right wine, you’ll develop a more refined taste. So, you’ll be able to experiment using your intuition only.