Food and Wine Pairing Tips
When food and wine complement each other, it can really elevate both. You can easily learn the basics of how to pair food and wine.
To get you started, we have put together a helpful guide that will show you the easy steps on how to pair food and wine. However, while pairing food and wine is a complex process, the basics are simple to grasp.
If you’re just getting started, you’ll find these methods helpful in producing great pairings. The more familiar you become with the different types of wines, you’ll be confident and can experiment with pairings.
The Basics of Food and Wine Pairing
- 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 are paired well with bold-flavored meats, including red meats.
- White wines are paired best with light-intensity meat, including fish and chicken.
- Bitter wines such as red wines can be balanced with fatty food.
- It’s better to match the wine with the sauce than the meat in a dish.
- White, Sparkling, and Rose wines create contrasting pairings.
- Red wines will create congruent pairings with food.
Identify the Basic Tastes
There are 20 different tastes found in food, but you’ll only need to know the basics: sweet, sour, fat, spicy, umami, and electric. Unlike food, you’ll only need to focus on six tastes when pairing food and wine, including salt, acid, sweet, bitter, fat, and spice.
Basic Taste Components in Wine and Food
Recognizing a number of exceptions, most wines lack the three tastes of fattiness, spiciness, and saltiness. However, it does contain acidity, sweetness, and bitterness in varying degrees. You can group wines into three different categories.
- Red wines have more bitterness.
- White, Rose, and Sparkling wines have more acidity.
- Sweet wines have more sweetness.
You can easily simplify a dish down to its basic dominant tastes. For example, macaroni and cheese have two primary components, including fat and salt. Although, there are more complex tastes in food, such as southern barbecue, which includes fat, salt, sweetness, and spice.
Even dishes without a meat component can be simplified. A fresh salad with a balsamic vinaigrette offers acidity and bitterness, and mashed potatoes offer fatness and mild sweetness.
Consider the Intensity in Wine
Food: Is the food light or sweet? If the intensity of the dish isn’t obvious at first, focus on each taste component (acidity, fat, sweet, etc.)
Wine: Is the wine light or bold?
- Sauvignon Blanc is a light-bodied wine but has higher acidity.
- Chardonnay has more body than other wines, but it’s not too acidic.
- Pinot Noir is light in body and doesn’t have too much tannin.
- Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine and has higher tannin.
Food and Wine Pairing at Metro Wines
At Metro Wines, we offer a wide selection of wines focusing on pairing just the right wine with any dish or event. Our wine experts are always readily available to answer your questions, offer pairing suggestions, tasting assistance, and work with your caterer or event planner.
We also offer Wine Classes, weekly tasting, and social groups throughout the month. Visit our website to see our event calendar, weekly tastings, and special events.