How to Do Amazing Wine Pairings

Wine pairing is a fascinating art that involves taking a risk with the kind of wines you combine with your food until a perfect match based on personal taste is established. The spectrum is especially broad in terms of wines to pick.

When it comes to food and wine pairings, there are those who carelessly match any dish with any libation and those who painstakingly try to balance the flavors of the food with the perfect wine. No matter where you land on the spectrum, there are some dishes that remain challenging (potluck, anyone?), so having knowledge of ways to properly pair wine with your food can truly intensify the enjoyment of eating. It does not get much better than sea bass with Sauvignon Blanc, duck breast with Burgundy and a juicy steak with a classic Cabernet Sauvignon, so here are some pairing tips that promise to make your next dish sing.

Sourced from: http://www.winemag.com/2014/11/12/mastering-the-art-of-wine-and-food-pairings/

It is no secret that having a perfect pairing of your favorite meal with the best-suited wine choice can take your meal into a whole new dimension. The following are the rules of pairing;

1.Pairing Rule #1

Serve a dry rosé with hors d’oeuvres

  • Rosé with Creamy Anchoïade
  • Rosé with Roquefort Gougères

Good rosé combines the fresh acidity and light body of white wines with the fruity character of reds. This makes it the go-to wine when serving a wide range of hors d’oeuvres, from crudités to gougères.

2.Pairing Rule #2

Serve an unbaked white with anything you can squeeze a lemon or lime on

  • Albariño with Pan-Glazed Salmon with Oyster Sauce and Basil
  • Sauvignon Blanc with Smoked Sablefish and Potato Salad with Capers and Onions

White wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño and Vermentino (typically made in stainless steel tanks rather than oak barrels) have a bright, citrusy acidity that acts like a zap of lemon or lime juice to heighten flavors in everything from smoked sablefish to grilled salmon.

3.Pairing Rule #3

Try low-alcohol wines with spicy foods

  • Riesling with Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Jamaican Curry
  • Riesling with Shrimp with Green Beans and Toasted Coconut
    Alcohol accentuates the oils that make spicy food hot. So when confronted with dishes like a fiery curried chicken or Thai stir-fry, look for wines that are low in alcohol, such as off-dry German Rieslings (especially since a touch of sweetness helps counter spiciness, too).

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4.Pairing Rule #4

Match rich red meats with tannic reds

  • Cabernet with Duck Confit with Turnips
  • Syrah with Sausages with Grapes

Tannins, the astringent compounds in red wines that help give the wine structure, are an ideal complement to luxurious meats—making brawny reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah great matches for braised duck legs or pan-seared sausages.

5.Pairing Rule #5

With lighter meats, pair the wine with the sauce

  • Portuguese Red with Pork Chops with Shallots
  • Chardonnay with Chicken Breasts with Leeks and Pine Nuts

Often the chief protein in a dish—chicken or pork, say—is not the primary flavor. Think of pork chops in a delicate white wine sauce versus pork chops in a zesty red wine sauce; in each case, the sauce dictates the pairing choice.

6.Pairing Rule #6

Choose earthy wines with earthy foods

  • Pinot Noir with Bison Rib Eye Steaks with Roasted Garlic
  • Nebbiolo with Mushroom-Shallot Ragout

Many great pairing combinations happen when wines and foods echo one another. Earthiness is often found in reds such as Pinot Noir (particularly from Burgundy) and Nebbiolo, making them great partners for equally earthy ingredients, like bison steaks or wild mushrooms.

7.Pairing Rule #7

For desserts, go with a lighter wine

  • Moscato with Moscato-Roasted Pears and Cider-Poached Apples
  • Madeira with Dulce de Leche Crispies

When pairing desserts and dessert wines, it is easy to overwhelm the taste buds with sweetness. Instead, choose a wine that is a touch lighter and less sweet than the dessert—for instance, an effervescent Moscato d’Asti with roasted pears.

Sourced from: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/seven-rules-for-perfect-pairing

Common Food and Wine Pairing Techniques

Wine pairing is an art that has been perfected by some people (read Italians) better than others. However, each region has the process of pairing their wines and food depending on some factors. Luckily, wine pairing is an art that one can learn with help, and we have all the information you need.

Our detailed food and wine matching guide helps you decide which wines to pair with a wide variety of meat, poultry, fish vegetarian dishes as well as desserts and cheese.
The matching of food and wine is a matter of personal taste. There are no hard and fast rules, but just remember it is easiest to think of wine as a sauce and match the strength of flavors and weight of the dish with the wine.

Sourced from: http://www.bbr.com/wine-knowledge/food-and-wine

It is important to note that pairing food and wine is dependent on individual taste and perception. The following are some techniques that wine enthusiasts have utilized over the years;

1.Regional Pairing

The idea of a regional pairing is pretty fundamental. Imagine Italian wine and Italian food or an Oregon pinot noir with a cow’s-milk cheese from the Willamette Valley. Regional matches are not always the perfect pairing, however they provide a template for us to understand more about what’s going on structurally with wine & food pairings.

2.Acid + Acid

Unlike bitter, acidity can be added together with food and wine and will create the basis of what wine people think about when selecting a wine with dinner. If the wine has less acidity than the food, the wine will taste flat. An easy visualization for acids out-of-balance is a glass of oaked warm climate chardonnay with a vinaigrette salad. When pairing a dish with wine, consider the acid balance between the food and the wine.

3.Sweet + Salty

If you love maple bacon, candied pecans and salted caramels, a wine and food pairing of a sweet wine with a salty food will probably delight you. Pair Riesling with Asian foods such as fried rice or Pad Thai, or try one of my favorite “low calorie” desserts of pretzels and tawny port.

4.Bitter + Bitter = No

Bitter does not go well with more bitter, which is the primary reason why I loathe red wine and chocolate pairings. When we feel fat in the middle of our tongues, it helps to alleviate bitterness.

5.Bitter + Fat

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Grab a big thick piece of fatty something-or-other and pair it with a wine with lots of tannin. This is the classic steak with red wine food pairing; however, I think we can do better than that. Take a red wine such as an Italian Sangiovese with lots of cherry flavors and pair the wine with an herbed potato croquette, roasted red tomatoes and rocket (a classic Tuscan Secondi). Suddenly you have a dish that has the tannin balanced with the fat in the croquette and a congruent flavor in the dish and wine (tomato and cherry) that elevate each other. I am already drooling.

6.Acid + Fat

Nothing like a glass of champagne to cut the fat. A high acid drink will add a range of interesting flavors to a lipid heavy dish. This is why white wine butter sauce is popular (you can watch a video of How to Make Buerre Blanc if you would like) the white wine in the butter sauce livens up the whole dish. So when you are in a situation where there is something fatty like cheesecake, get a glass of something bubbly and zippy.

7.Alcohol + Fat

The alcohol category is a bit of a strange one. The alcohol taste actually comes across as acidity so a lot of the same ideologies of the Acid + Fat category pass over into Alcohol + Fat. The primary difference is that a high alcohol drink should not be used as a palate-cleanser because that will mess you up. Instead, look at an alcohol + fat category as a way to mitigate high-speed food consumption. A glass of 17% ABV zinfandel will greatly slow down the rate at which you consume your pepper steak. I use the alcohol + fat category often for dessert pairing, but I’d like to see it more in dining as we learn to eat slower and enjoy longer.

Sourced from: http://winefolly.com/tutorial/food-and-wine-pairing/