Basic Principles of Successful Food and WinePairing

Basic Principles of Successful Food and Wine Pairing

A guide to getting more out of a
meal by knowing the basic principles of food and wine
By <a
href=”” target=”_blank”
data-ls-seen=”1″>Jackie Dodd   <a
rel=”attachment wp-att-36850″> src=””
width=”495″ height=”490″ /> The general consensus
among most wine drinking, food-loving humans is: “Drink what
you like”. True. For the most part, but viewing wine
as an additional ingredient to your dish
, knowing
how the food and wine interact will give you more control of the
experience of your meal. You adore a dry cab, as well as super
spicy red curry but what do they do to each other? Do you know how
to pick a wine that can enhance your meal, rather than detract from
it? Drink and eat what you like is always a good rule, but if
you like several types of wine, knowing which one to pick can
highlight that meal that you adore, and vice versa. Where do you
even begin? While there is certainly room for interpretation when
it comes to taste and experience, knowing a few basic rules will
have you on the path to pairing like a pro.   <p
align=”center”>The Basic Principles of Successful
Food and Wine Pairing

Rule one: Acid needs acid Any food
with a high acid level, something you just want to squeeze a lemon
onto, is a perfect match for a high acid wine. If you are serving
Chicken Picatta, or pasta with tomato sauce, opt for a Barolo,
Sauvignon Blanc or Chianti. Serving a high acid wine with a meal
like this, and you will bring out the citrus notes of your food.
This is also a great rule to keep in mind if you are a red wine
person, who wants to pair with an acidic pork or chicken dish.
Choose a high acid, low tannin red for a nice Red Wine, White Meat
pairing. Think that dish you made needs more acid? Serve with an
acidic wine to increase the taste of the acid in the dish.
Rule Two: Tannins Need Fat
First of all, what IS a tannin? It’s the astringent component in
red wine that give it structure. This is what can cause that
bitter, pucker feeling in the back of your throat. This needs fat
for balance, fat will soften the tannins and bring a smoother feel.
Serve a bold Cabernet with a nice fatty piece of Prime Rib. <a
rel=”attachment wp-att-36851″> src=””
width=”495″ height=”490″ /> Rule Three:
Fish Goes with Acid, Not With Tannins

We have all heard the old rule
of: White Wine for White Meat, Red Wine for Red Meat. The reason
for that is acid and tannins, not color. If you are serving fish,
think of the wine as you would a squeeze of lemon on top (high acid
wine) rather than a sprinkle of cheese (tannin heavy red wine).
Rule Four: Pair
Wine With Dominant Flavor, Not Necessarily The Meat

This is another reason to ignore the old rule White for White, Red
for Red. Just because you have pork on your plate, doesn’t mean
that is the flavor that will stick around. Is that pork being
served in a robust red sauce? Or is that beef being served with a
creamy lemon sauce? If the sauce on your plate is the dominant
flavor, pair to that, not the meat. <a
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width=”495″ height=”490″ />
Rule Five: Heat Needs Sugar This is
the best example of wine paring going awry. Serving a super spicy
dish with a high alcohol, tannin heavy wine with will set your
guests on fire, two great elements producing a catastrophe
combination when mixed. Alcohol intensifies the heat. If
however, you cooked a dish that is much more mellow that you have
intended, pair with one of those high tannin, high alcohol wines to
crank up the heat. But, for the most part, you want to stick with a
sweeter, low alcohol wine. Even if you don’t like sweeter wines,
you will be surprised at how those sugars are altered with
introduction of the heat. Try a Gewürztraminer or a Riesling.
Rule Six: Sweet Needs
You want the wine to be sweeter than the
dessert. Even if you are not drawn to the sweeter wines, taking a
sip of a rich, sweet port before, and after, a bit of a dense fudgy
cake completely transforms the flavors of both elements. <a
rel=”attachment wp-att-36852″> src=””
width=”495″ height=”490″ />   Now that we
have this knowledge under our belts, where do we go from here? I’ve
asked wine expert, <a
href=”” data-ls-seen=”1″>Jameson
to jump in and answer some wine
paring basics. <a
rel=”attachment wp-att-36853″> src=””
width=”333″ height=”333″ /> 1. Where
pairing wine, where do you start, the food or the wine? Is
better to pair the food to the
wine, or the other way around?
Honestly, it’s a
toss-up. Whichever one inspires me more. If something catches my
eye in the market, I’ll start building a dish around that and
figure out the wine later. Or I may be tasting a new wine and the
idea of what to pair it with will coalesce after the first few
sips.   2. If you don’t know if your wine is
acidic, oaky, tannin heavy, sweet,
should you
Ask for help. Whether you turn to the internet
or talk to your friendly local wine shop employee, a little
research or a few questions can get you pointed in the right
direction.   3. What do you think is the
biggest mistake beginners make when pairing wine?
really don’t like to think about wine pairing “mistakes.” Some
wines work better than others and you can just chalk up a
less-than-desirable result to experience. It will certainly inform
your next decision when you have the same dish! And maybe you’ll
discover a pairing that YOU like, even though it flies in the face
of conventional wine wisdom. I also advocate returning to the open
bottle post-meal and enjoying it on its own or paired with a
friend.   4. What are your thoughts on wine
and cheese pairing?
My first experiences with wine
and cheese began in a social setting, where the food and drink were
just a vehicle to get people in a room together. It wasn’t about
evaluating the wines and cheeses. And I have to admit that I
haven’t been a huge fan of red wine with cheese. (Though this
sentiment is probably a sad testament to some of the first red
wines and cheeses I encountered together. There was nowhere to go
but up.) I would, however, crawl over broken glass for Sancerre
with goat cheese; I think too often there is a lack of white wine
represented when people experience wine and cheese. With a match
like Sancerre and goat cheese, the pleasures of pairing come from
enjoying regional wines and cheeses that have a natural affinity.
It’s a great theme for a wine and cheese party, too. But don’t be
afraid to experiment and mix it up.

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