Food and wine don’t only go together. That’s not exactly what the old adage states. But fantastic food and wine blend create a perfect harmony between the flavors of the wine as well as the dominant tastes of a meal. The idea is easy enough, but putting it into practice is where it can get complicated. As with any pairing, the wine must complement the food without overpowering it or being too overpowering. It should simply be a fantastic fit.
So far as matching food and wine goes, there is a wide assortment of possibilities. On one end of the spectrum you have very sweet wines like whites and bouquets, which can be easily paired with creamy or light salads and legumes. On the other end of the spectrum you have reds such as pinot noir or Merlot, that can be best matched with powerful meats like beef, lamb or pork. The equilibrium is generally tannin-rich red meat, together with the sweetness of the wine serving as a background to the strong flavors of the meat.
The opposite ends of the flavor spectrum will also be possible. Topping off the dessert spectrum are full-bodied reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon or syrah. These are also best paired with bold, flavorful greens and darker dishes like stews and desserts. If the wine has a high alcohol level, this pairing is going to be panic. Alcohol will draw out the flavors in the wine, whilst tannin raises the degree of the flavors from the wine. It may also be overwhelming, particularly if there are people drinking in front of you.
Another pairing to keep in mind is just where the food is high acidity, however, the wine is low acidity. In this case the wine should counteract the high acidity to fully capture the taste. If the food is very acidic it could cut through the wine. The exact same goes if it’s a really sweet dish. The sweetness of the dish will overwhelm the acidity of this wine and result in an aromatic dish.
Another pairing to think about is if one tastes the wine and then the main taste of the food. Food and wine which have a wonderful degree of equilibrium can go well together, provided that they do not overpower each other. If a person tastes the wine , and then the principal flavor of this food, this can lead to an overly sweet dish. Additionally, it may provide you a too dry flavor.
The most essential point to remember is that your palates are highly individual. Each individual has their own blend of tannins, acids and flavors. By focusing on these small aspects of your palate you will be able to think of a food pairing that works quite nicely for you. Remember to experimentation, and remember to drink lots of wine!