A wine pairing is the art of picking out wines that will complement the flavors in each dish – whether it’s salty, sweet, or spicy.
If you’re new to wine, it can be difficult to know which wines pair well with the different types of dishes. Wine isn’t just a simple drink, it has a wide range of flavor profiles and intensities, and these are all important when pairing wine with any dish. This article provides some general guidelines to help you pair wines with various dishes. Tips on wine pairing for beginners:
1. Match the wine with the dish
Think of your dish as a canvas and the wine as a liquid color. Wine is meant to be beautiful and create visual harmony, not a clash.
The main purpose of food is to satisfy hunger and quench thirst. The purpose of wine is to satisfy our senses. The four senses are sight, smell, taste, and touch. Aesthetics matter more than flavors since they play an important role in all aspects of life.
2. Match the intensity of flavors with the right wine
You can use your senses to tell how intense a particular dish is. The highest intensity flavors are spicy and tart. Spiciness and acidity are strong, hot, and bright. The lowest intensity flavors are sweet, bitter, and hot.
Spicy food includes anything from curry to jalapenos and certain herbs and spices like oregano, ginger, rosemary, and sage.
3. Pick out the wine with the right flavors
Don’t just stick to one kind of wine. When pairing wine with a wide range of dishes, choose versatile drinks and complement the overall flavors of your meal.
4. Pick out a wine with a pleasant texture
The texture of wine should provide balance and contrast to the meal you’re serving. Keep in mind that textures differ between types of wines and within each type. Let’s look at an example of this.
A Moscato is a fruity wine, so it’s best paired with desserts that have a similar sweetness. A dry wine would be too strong if paired with sweet desserts, making the wine taste bitter. The contrasting sharpness of dry wines and the sweetness of desserts make for a nice harmony in this case.