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A great food and wine pairing creates a balance between the components of a dish and the characteristics of a wine. Follow this article of BestLifeTips to get some tips for creating a wine and food pairing chart. Let’s get started!
What are the basic rules when pairing food and wine?
If you’re a beginner, here are some simple rules for you to create a consistently great wine and food pairings.
- The wine should be more acidic than the food.
- The wine should be sweeter than the food.
- The wine should have the same flavor intensity as the food.
- Red wines pair best with bold flavored meats.
- White wines pair best with light-intensity meats.
- Bitter wines are best balanced with fat.
- It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat.
- White, Sparkling and Rosé wines create contrasting pairings.
- Red wines will create congruent pairings.
In additional to the above rules, we’d like to present to you 10 easy principles to create a suitable wine and food pairing chart. These 10 principles are from the book The Wine Bible of Karen MacNeil, a wine writer.
- Great with great, humble with humble: The first important principle is simply: Pair great with great, humble with humble. A hot turkey sandwich doesn’t need a pricey Merlot to accompany it. On the other hand, an expensive crown rib roast may just present the perfect moment for opening that powerful, opulent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been saving.
- Delicate to delicate, bold to bold: Match delicate to delicate, bold to bold. It only makes sense that a delicate wine like a red Burgundy will end up tasting like water if you serve it with a dramatically bold dish like curry. Dishes with bold, piquant, spicy, and hot flavors are perfectly cut out for bold, spicy, big-flavored wines.
- To mirror or to contrast? Decide if you want to mirror a given flavor, or set up a contrast. Chardonnay with lobster in cream sauce would be an example of mirroring. Both the lobster and the Chardonnay are opulent, rich, and creamy. But delicious matches also happen when you go in exactly the opposite direction and create contrast and juxtaposition. That lobster in cream sauce would also be fascinating with Champagne, which is sleek, crisp, and sharply tingling because of the bubbles.
- Choose a flexible wine: Think about a wine’s flexibility. For maximum flexibility, go with a Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling, both of which have cleansing acidity. Wines with high acidity leave you wanting to take a bite of food, and after taking a bite of food, you’ll want a sip of wine. The perfect seesaw. The most flexible red wines either have good acidity, such as Chianti, red Burgundy, and California and Oregon Pinot Noir, or they have loads of fruit and not a lot of tannin.
- Fruity wine for fruity dishes: Dishes with fruit in them or a fruit component to them, pork with sautéed apples, roasted chicken with apricot glaze, duck with figs, and so forth, often pair beautifully with very fruit-driven wines that have super-fruity aromas.
- Salt versus acidity: Saltiness in food is a great contrast to acidity in wine. Such as smoked salmon and Champagne, or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Chianti. Asian dishes that have soy sauce in them often pair well with high-acid wines like riesling.
- Salt versus sweet: Saltiness is also a stunningly delicious contrast to sweetness. Try that Asian dish seasoned with soy sauce with an American riesling that’s slightly sweet, and watch both the food and the wine pull together in a new way. This is the principle behind that great old European custom of serving Stilton cheese (something salty) with Port (something sweet).
- High-fat food and high-powered wines: A high-fat food, something with a lot of animal fat, butter, or cream, usually calls out for an equally rich, intense, structured, and concentrated wine. Here’s where a well-balanced red wine with tannin, such as a good-quality Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, works wonders. The immense structure of the wine stands up to the formidableness of the meat. And at the same time, the meat’s richness and fat serves to soften the impact of the wine’s tannin.
- Consider umami: Consider umami (see The Wine Bible, page 105), the fifth taste, which is responsible for a sense of deliciousness in foods. Chefs increasingly use foods high in umami, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, soy sauce, wild mushrooms, and most red meats, to build a dish, and potentially make it sensational with wine. When wine and food are paired well together, adding an umami component to the food often serves to heighten the overall experience.
- Beware of sweet on sweet: With desserts, consider sweetness carefully. Desserts that are sweeter than the wine they accompany make the wine taste dull and blank. In effect, the sweetness of the dessert can knock out the character of the wine. Wedding cake, for example, can ruin just about anything in a glass, although happily, no one’s paying attention anyway.
What wines go with what foods?
Pairing wines and food is often stressed about and debated. We are often confused about how to pair certain flavors and elements of a dish. The following are some guidelines for pairing a few common wines.
- Salty food
Choose a boldly tannic wine such as Barolo, Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines which will be balanced by the harmonising saltiness of your food. Go for a fruity acidic wine such as a riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.
- Acidic food
The best wines for pairing with acidic foods are Champagne, dry Riesling (Eden and Clare Valley in Australia are famous for their particularly mouth-puckering examples), Sauvignon Blanc, Gavi, Albarinho/Alvarinho and English white wines. For reds try a cool-climate Pinot Noir or Valpolicella.
Alternatively, a super-fruity red (such as Zinfandel, Primitivo or Grenache) can work really well with the sweet- sour elements at play in tomato-based recipes.
- Spicy food
If you love to ramp up the burn factor then pair a spicy dish with a high alcohol or high tannin red. If you’d rather tone down the spice, then avoid tannic or oaky reds or whites and head for something with a hint or more of sweetness. Rich, off-dry Pinot Gris, Riesling or sumptuously spiced Gewürztraminer make a great choice, as do off-dry Rosés.
Mildly spiced foods, such as a tagine, will taste great with a full-bodied red such as Chilean Carmenere, a Spanish Garnacha or a full-throttle fruity number from Portugal’s Douro region.
- Creamy, buttery or oily food
Lusciously buttery or creamy sauces taste delicious matched with a lusciously rich and buttery wine. Such as white Burgundy, Chardonnay or a rich Rhône blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. White Rioja with its plush texture and succulent fruit is another winner for subtly cheesy sauces.
As for oil food like fish and chips, fried chicken, Champagne, Cava or Crémant de Loire will be a suitable match, as will a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling.
Also, any of Italy’s brisk red-fruited styles would work, or maybe try a Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Sweet food and desserts
Sweetness in foods can seriously dull the flavours of a good dry wine. As a basic rule, go for something with a touch of sweetness to mirror the ingredients, such as an off-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc, or try a super-fruity Zinfandel or its old world counterpart, Primitivo.
For properly sweet foods, you’ll need to take a delicious voyage into the world of dessert wines. The rule is that the wine should always be sweeter than the pudding.
White wine and food pairing
If you’re not sure when you should serve white wine, here are 5 of the best foods you should be pairing with your white wine selection.
- Poultry: One of the easiest pairings you can make with white wines is by serving them with poultry. Chicken and roast turkey should be served with a white wine. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are all proper white wines to accompany any poultry from chicken to turkey to Cornish game hens.
- Shrimp, crab and lobster: For the trinity of shrimp, crab and lobster, it’s best to pour a dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc to balance the beautiful flavours.
- Appetisers and salads: Just about any white wine will do to harmonise with these light tastes, particularly Chardonnay.
- Cheeses: All white wines, except for Chardonnay, are proper to serve alongside a cheese plate of cream Havarti, Gouda, and Muenster cheeses.
- Fish: Whether it’s grilled, baked, or sautéed, fish is light and therefore needs a white wine. Chardonnay is an obvious match but to expand your horizons, seek out a dry Riesling or a Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy the pairing.
Red wine and food pairing
Red wine is popular for its great taste, it’s a classic order, and it may have a variety of health benefits. We typically pair most red wines with foods with bold flavors. Here are some suggestions for red wine food pairings that are sublime.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: This wine goes great with dishes such as red meat. Also, roast or grill lamb is always a winner with this type of wine.
- Merlot: This wine is best paired with turkey or roasted chicken.
- Pinot Noir: This is a lighter body of wine pairs well with seafood such as salmon or Ahi tuna. Also, bright reds should be paired with a more fruity flavor such as salads or flatbreads.
- Malbec: This is more of bold red wine and is usually best paired with bolder food flavors such as vegetarian stews, tomato-heavy chicken dishes, and fish like salmon.
- Sangiovese: Sangiovese pairs well with rustic, Italian-style dishes like lasagna and veal Parmesan. It also matches well with most hearty tomato-based dishes, including vegetarian options. You can also pair it with pizza.
- Beaujolais: Beaujolais is a fruity red wine that is a perfect match for sweeter vegetarian dishes, like butternut squash or sweet potatoes. It is also a versatile food pairing wine that pairs well with dishes like roasted chicken, grilled pork, or other lean meat dishes.
What snacks pair well with wine?
Sometimes you don’t want to use wines with food such as beefsteak, chicken or fish. You just want to lie on the couch, watch your favorite movie, pull out the chips and a bottle of your favorite wines. Here’s a quick guide to perfect snacks to pair with wines.
- Nuts: Almonds go well with Chardonnay, Port, Prosecco, Sauternes, Sauvignon Blanc; Hazelnuts go well with Burgundy (white), Chardonnay, Port; Peanuts pair well with Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer (avoid red wine); Walnuts pair well with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Port.
- Popcorn: Popcorn is actually a very, easy pairing with a lot of wines. Whether salty, sweet or coated in caramel, there will be an ideal match. For salty, you can pair with Extra Brut Prosecco. As for buttery, it needs a Viognier or a Chardonnay.
- Crisps or Tortilla chips: There’s a lot of salt or flavour going on in this bowl. Off-dry whites or slightly sweeter Prosecco styles are a very easy match for the salt. However, for jalapeno spice, dial up the fruitiness and sweetness in the wine to foil it. Try a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or a light, bubbly red, slightly chilled such as a dry Lambrusco.
- Pizza: The tomato and garlic on a pizza can actually make your wine taste a bit metallic. But Italian wines go so well with it. Sangiovese and Montepulciano are good matches as red wines. For whites, try fruity Italians like Fiano or Trebbiano. They’ll quench your thirst for sure and stand up to the acidity and garlic.
- Cheese: Cheese and crackers are always a pretty safe bet. For hard, nutty cheese, it’s best to go with Chardonnay. Goats cheese pairs well with zippy, fresh whites like Sauvignon Blanc. As for blue cheeses, it’s sweet wines.
- Cold meats: This is the easiest match in the world. Lighter to medium-bodied reds are fantastic here. Try a Gamay, Cabernet Franc or even an Italian Barbera or Chianti.
Wine and food pairing chart
After analyze and summarize from all the above information, we’d like to share with you a wine and food pairing chart that you can follow.
- Notice: Green stands for white wines. Pink stands for red wines.
In short, you should consider which wines go well with which food. It’ll help you to stay safe and get sublimate while using your meals.
This is all about wine and food pairing chart that BestLifeTips want to share with you. Hope that it can help you prepare an amazing meal for you and your beloved ones.