Tips, Hints, Ideas and Thoughts
Matching wines with food isn’t as difficult as most people think. What it all comes down to is whether we enjoy it or not. There are no definite rules in pairing. You could have ended up with a bottle of wine you don’t particularly enjoy and yet the wine perfectly enhances the food on the table. Always keep in mind that wine should complement the food rather than dominating it.
In most cases, you will probably drink most of the wine either before the food is served or after you have finished your meal. So if you select a bottle of wine that you enjoy drinking by itself, you can’t be too far off the chart.
With that said, here are some basic tips, hints, ideas, and thoughts when combining wine with food.
- Match the weight & texture of the food to the weight & texture of the wine.
The basic differences between red wines and white wines are tannins and flavors. Majority of the reds available in the market contains some degree of tannins while very few whites do. Common flavors that both reds and whites share are spicy, buttery, leathery, floral or earthy. Flavors such as apple, pineapple (citrus), and pear can usually be found in white wines but rarely in red wines. Currant, stone fruit and cherry flavors are commonly found in reds but not whites.
For your reference, here are some wine and food pairing suggestions:
Tips : You may find many California Chardonnays have fuller bodies and heavier textures than most California Pinot Noirs and even some Cabernets. So the old rule of thumb - white wine with fish and red wine with meat – doesn’t always work today.
Sour flavors in food would make the wines taste less acidic. So the wine would seem less refreshing or vibrant. Some of the high acidic foods are apples, pineapples, tomatoes, and food prepared in vinegar.
Oily fish with high tannin wine would create an unpleasant metallic taste, but some low tannin reds may do well with strong textured fish.
Salty food may cause bitter taste when pairing high tannin wine.
Spicy foods usually match well with fully ripe wines.
Kistler and Kongsgaard Chardonnays are always rich, bold and full bodied. These chardonnays would match nicely with creamy, buttery pasta, most white meat, and strong flavored seafood.
Robert Biale’s Zinfandels are very ripe and usually spicy. They would match nicely with spicy foods and BBQ.
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