Pairing food and wine is possibly one of the most adult things you will ever do in your life, it is certainly one of the most rewarding. I mean, I have a baby and he’s great and everything… but steak and wine? Now that’s a match made in heaven! (I’m just kidding about my son; he’s adorable and way better than anyone else’s kid – if there were actual baby battles, he would win for damn sure). However, I digress – back to wine and food pairing! Here are 5 simple ways to achieve perfect food/wine symbiosis.
1)Balance Is Everything
This is such an important rule, balancing the wine and the food is the only way to pair the two together perfectly – neither of them should overwhelm the other. Serve a hearty wine with a hearty meal, like oxtail stew, and a delicate wine with a delicate dish, like poached fish. If you balance the weight of the dish with the weight of the wine, you will be golden.
2)Look At The Alcohol Content
Lighter, more delicate wines tend to have lower alcohol content and the richer, full-bodied ones have higher alcohol content. Generally speaking, red meat dishes pair better with hearty red wines like Merlot and white meat dishes, like chicken, pair well with lighter white wines like Chardonnay.
3)Match The Acids
More often than not, you should pair your wine to the acidic element of the dish rather than the main ingredient. How the dish is prepared plays a major role in what wine you need to pair it with. Chicken, for example, can be cooked in a zesty sauce or turned in a spicy curry – your wine choice needs to reflect that. The acidity of the dish needs to be matched by the acidity of the wine.
4)Know The Basic Taste Components In Wine
Each wine has its own blueprint of sorts. Get to know the various types of wine before you try and pair them with food. Red wines are generally bitterer, white wines have more acidity and sweet whites are, you guessed it – sweeter. Once you learn these basics, it will be easier for you to choose a wine and even easier for you to pair it with a meal. Just remember that the intensity of the wine often changes according to the global region it comes from.
5)Identify The Basic Taste Components In The Food Dish
You need to simplify the dish down to its basic taste components. Elements like fat, salt, sweetness and spice all play a major role in the overall taste and intensity of the meal. You will need to pair your wine accordingly based on the dominant flavours and components of the meal. The food and the wine both have taste intensities and these need to be perfectly balanced in order to create the best pairing possible. If the intensity of the dish is immediately identifiable, just focus on the overall power and dominant element in each bite.