If you are hosting a dinner party, food and wine pairing is an important consideration. It can make or break the experience for your guests. One of the best ways to ensure that food and wine pairings work well together is by using food with similar flavor profiles. Here’s how to pair the wine with certain types of food.
Match Flavor Intensity And Character
Flavor intensity and character need to be in-synch when you are choosing the wine for your dinner. Once you properly open the bottle, taste it before putting it into wine decanters because it may not be the perfect match. You have to determine whether it’s the right drink for the food that you’ve made.
In order to make sure flavor and intensity are on the same page, you should always put your palate to the test. What is the food you’ve made? Is it heavy and flavorful or light and mild? If so, match a wine that has stronger flavors than what you have cooked.
Consider The Acidity
Different wines have different acidity levels, and it’s important to take this into account when pairing wine with food. A high-acid wine will taste sour next to a dish that is low in acidity, while a low-acid wine will taste bland or flabby next to a high-acid dish.
When considering the acidity of a wine, think about what type of cuisine you’re pairing it with. A high-acid wine goes well with acidic foods like tomatoes, lemon juice, and vinegar. Low-acid wines are better paired with richer dishes that have cream sauces or are topped with melted cheese.
Here’s which acidity goes with which type:
- High acidity: goes well with acidic foods like tomatoes, lemon juice, and vinegar
- Medium acidity: goes well with most types of food
- Low acidity goes well with richer dishes that have cream sauces or are topped with melted cheese.
Use Soften Bitter Tannins With Heavier Food
Heavier food requires a bolder taste. When using wine for a meal, it’s important to vary the tannin levels of wines that are paired with different foods. This is because certain food types need more dominant flavors in order to balance out their heavier textures and tastes. Using softer bitter tannins with these heavy dishes will result in an unpleasant pairing.
For example, choose lighter pinot noirs or zinfandels when looking to pair red meat entrees like steak or roast beef. On the other hand, use larger-bodied cabernet sauvignons or shiraz blends when choosing between game meats such as venison. When using white meats like pork chops, try using chardonnay falls within this spectrum too.
Spicy Wine With Spicy Food
When it comes to spicy food, mixing spicy wine with it is a common practice. It may seem like a basic pairing, but there’s actually some science involved in creating the perfect flavor combination.
When choosing wines that match up with spicy foods, try not to look at the color as much as you do with other dishes. Focus more on what kind of spices are included in those meals instead. For example, if your dish contains cayenne pepper or jalapenos then you’ll want something acidic such as zesty Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand so the heat doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds all afternoon long.
Wine Should Be As Sweet As The Food
Your wine has to match the sweetness of your food as well as the overall flavor. As you may have guessed, this is fairly important! This will help highlight the flavors in both the food and wine, as well as make sure neither overpowers the other. Generally speaking, you’ll want a sweeter wine to pair with a sweeter dish and vice versa.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. For example, if you’re serving dessert as part of an appetizer course, you might choose a slightly drier wine so that it doesn’t overpower the sweetness of the dessert. But in general, following this guideline is a good place to start.
Pair It With The Sauce You Use
One very popular tactic when drinking wine with a meal is to pair it with the sauce you are using. For example, a heavier red wine can be paired well with a hearty Bolognese sauce, while a white wine would complement chicken or fish much better. If you’re not sure what types of wines to pair with which sauces, there are plenty of pairing guides out there that can help steer you in the right direction.
This method is often used with pasta meals because pairing it with the sauce used is a natural pairing. For example, to achieve maximum enjoyment you should try pairing with full-bodied red wines with Bolognese sauce, while Riesling or Chardonnay should go with buttery Alfredo sauce.
Wine and food pairing go together very well, but even more so when you know how to combine the two. Make sure that the intensity and character are in-synch and consider the acidity level before opening the bottle. Heavier foods require softer bitter tannins while spicy drinks go with spicy dishes. Saying that the same should be done when it comes to sweetness. When having pasta, the smartest choice is to pair it with the sauce you’re making. After these tips, you’ll enjoy every meal much more!