The point of this food and wine pairing cheat sheet is to enhance both the food on your plate and the wine in your glass. The ultimate goal is to have both your meal’s and your wine’s best flavours and textures compliment each other perfectly. Your dining experience can go from good to outstanding if you follow these simple principles. Of course, ultimately, the choice is yours as wine is all about personal preference.
A Wine-Lovers Food & Wine Pairing Cheat Sheet:
Tip 1: Acidity is your friend
Acidity in wine mitigates the acidity in food which makes the flavour of both the food and the wine seem a little softer and sweeter.
A little salt can make a grippy, tannic wine seem softer and smoother.
Avoid wine with high tannins or a lot of oak treatment or the flavours will be bitter.
Tip 4: Match flavour intensity
Balance is key. Don’t let the wine over-power the food or the food over-power the wine.
Try matching regional food with wines from that same region. French cheese and meats always pair best with French wines.
Tip 6: Pair like with like
Match flavours, body and texture to create harmony.
Tip 7: Opposites Attract
Sometimes your best wine and food pairing is something totally off-the-wall. It might not be the safest bet, but it won’t be boring!
You can drink red wine with fish, but only if the wine’s acidity is high & the tannins are low.
Tip 9: Chili heat is risky
Pair spicy foods with low alcohol, fruity wines that have mouthwatering acidity. Mouth-drying tannins and high alcohol in wines increases the burn from spicy foods.
Tip 10: Save the sweet stuff for dessert
When pairing wine with dessert, choose a wine that is just as sweet as your dessert – or even a little sweeter.
Tip 11: When in doubt, choose champage
The acidity, effervescence and complex flavours of Champagne are all very food-friendly – and delicious!
Personal preference always prevails for pairings. If it tastes good to you, do it!