Margaux wines for red wines, Chardonnay for white wines. These stated wines are just one of the common wines that most people know and are fond of. Tasting wine itself is already amazing, but pairing it up with a food that would compliment both the food and the wine’s in your palate, will result in being magical.
Today, we will be discussing about the basics of wine and food pairing. Maybe you have heard of red wines are for red meats like beef and pork, while white wines are for white meats such as poultry and fishes. It may be true, but there is more there is than just that.
Tips in Pairing Wine and Food
First off, here are the nine tips that you should keep in mind to help you the critical points in pairing wines with food. These tried and true methods will produce consistently great pairings!
Now, without further ado, the following written below are the brief nine tips that you should follow, which include the following:
- The wine of your choice should be more acidic than the paired food.
- The wine should be sweeter than the paired food.
- The wine should be of the same flavor intensity as the paired food.
- Red wines are paired best with boldly flavored meats
- White wines are paired best with light-intensity meats such as poultry and fish.
- Bitter wines are best paired with fat to balance the taste.
- In matching the wine with the dish, it is much better to match them with the sauce than the meat.
- More often, the white, sparkling, and rose wines create a contrasting pairing.
- More often, red wines create a congruent pairing.
Congruent Vs. Contrasting Pairings
It was stated just now that more often than not, the white, rose, and sparkling wines creates contrasting pairings while the red wines more often than not create congruent pairings. But, what does it mean?
Simply put, a contrasting pairing is wherein a balance is created through the contrasting of tastes and flavors. While on the other hand, a congruent pairing is wherein a balance is created by amplifying the shared flavor compounds.
In finding the contrasting or congruent pairings, you should first identify all the basic taste components in your dish so that you can start playing around with the matching. Here’s a simple example of a baked macaroni which can offer up several possible pairings.
Complementary Pairing. A white wine that is high with acidity will complement the fat that is present in the macaroni. For instance, the traditional mac and cheese recipe contains a creamy bechamel sauce. Now to create a complementary pairing, you should match the sauce with a zesty white wine like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Assyrtiko.
Congruent Pairing. A white wine that has a feature of creaminess will amplify the creaminess that is in the dish. With this said, the traditional mac and cheese recipe with a creamy bechamel sauce will be paired well with a creamy white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
Identifying the Basics Tastes
Did you already get the gist of the congruent and complementary pairing? If yes, then let us move forward to identifying the basic tastes of your wine and food. It was stated beforehand that you should know the basic tastes of your food and wine to match them well.
With this said, the primary taste components in wine will be briefly discussed, followed by the basic taste component in food.
Wine’s Basic Taste Component. Technically speaking, the wine lacks the three tastes of fatness, saltiness, and spiciness, while containing acidity, bitterness, and sweetness which varies in degrees. Generally speaking, you can group the wines into three categories:
- Red wines are more bitter
- White, sparkling, and rose have more acidity
- Sweet wines have more sweetness.
Basic Taste Component in Food. Simplify your dish down to its basic dominant taste like the fat and salt in baked macaroni, or the sweet and spice, fat and saltiness in the southern barbecue.
So, firstly, you should consider the intensity of the food by determining whether if it is super light or rich? Is it high with acidity? Things like that can help you decide which wine to pair well with your food.
Learning food and wine pairing basics will help you create your pairings; you might even have fun with it! This guide will show and help you out on how to pair the wine with the food well to let your palate enjoy the magical taste that both the food and beverage can offer you.
With all the simple guidelines listed above, surely you will be right on track and on top of the game whenever you will have some joyous occasions that need the presence of wines. You will be that to-go-to friend wine expert in no time!