In most cuisines, food and wine go hand in hand with improving the overall coronary experience. The secret, however, is getting the right wine to go with the right food; otherwise, the two may be mismatched and the whole dietary experience ruined. Different foods have different recommendations of wine ranging from the wide variety of wine present in the market today hence giving you a diverse list to choose from.
In choosing the type of wine, the primary consideration is what kind of food is being served, the processes involved in the preparation of the given meal, and personal preference on the wine you love to consume. Here are some of the basic rules to follow to achieve the right combination.
What to Consider Before Pairing
In many places today, you will be advised that red wine is suited to certain foods, and so is white wine. The science behind it is, however, not based on color only but on a couple of other considerations. Commonly people are advised to accompany a diet of fish or red meat with white wine, and for most people, it complements their coronary experience but to be more specific, you should take into consideration the general intensity of the meal you intend to serve and the essential ingredients that constitute the dish. When we talk about the strength of any plate, the general assumption is the weight of the meal regarding its impact on the digestive system. This largely depends on the sugar content of the feed, the amount of salt accompanying the meal, and elements such as acids and spices used to garnish the dish. The idea here is to provide an appropriate choice of wine that will not be overpowered by the blend of ingredients or a choice of wine that is probably too strong hence overpowering the dish. Given this, red wine will be ideally suited to go with meals constituted of red meat or white meat. An example of a perfect match with such a diet is the rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon which goes perfectly with the weight of the thick but juicy and fatty steak all because their intensity in the digestive system is more or less the same.
There, however, is an exception to make with such meals when spices are involved. If the red meat is prepared with a spicy sauce for lovers of seasoned steak, or when preparing, it is diced up and mixed with a leafy green salad. This changes the nature of the ingredients of the meal, and as such, the choice of wine should change. What should guide you is the elements present in the feed and accompanying components present in the determination of wine.
There is underlying flavor matching rules you should know before even going into the intricacies of food pairing. The profiles you should engage here are six in number, very simple and basic but not always easy for everyone to pull off successfully. This entail; that when the food is fatty or contains high amounts of sugar content, the preferable choice of wine should be the acidic type to aid in the overall digestion of the food and also bring out the individual elements for you to taste and enjoy. Another preferable choice of wine with fatty foods is a wine with high levels of alcohol content. Going for wine with low amounts of alcohol; content with such a meal will make the overall flavor of the meal flabby hence ruining a perfectly good meal due to a mismatch when pairing.
There are specific wines that are Tannic and hence are bitter to the taste. Such wine could be perfect when accompanied by high sugar content food. The bitterness neutralizes the sugars, thus improving the overall coronary experience. Salty foods should not be accompanied by acidic wine. This has the effect of changing the overall taste of the meal due to an imbalance in the intensity of the different elements within such a meal. When using such a combination, discretion is essential, and the parts should be used sparingly to savor the flavors of the given meal. Sweet food, on the other hand, has much to gain from wine that contains little amounts of acidity. It is also important to know that in any given meal, wine with an alcohol content will help you balance out the sugar content of the meal and even cut through a wide range of fatty foods. This balance in your daily dietary experience is essential and could have positive health ramifications in the long run.
It is a known fact that the range of foods used commonly today has up to twenty different known flavors ranging from very basic tastes such as sweet, sour, fatty, spicy, umami, and even electric. Even with such a diversity of flavors, you should only focus on only six flavors to guide you in achieving the perfect pair of food and wine. These are the salt flavors, acidic content, sugar level, bitterness, fat content of the meal, and spices involved in the preparation of the food.
Taste Components in Wine
Unlike food, the wine did not have the six flavors to choose from but was limited to three taste components that are acidity, sweetness, and bitterness, all in different contents hence providing a wide range of wines to choose from, all with varying intensities. This is paired well, and will compensate for fatty foods, spicy meals, and the general saltiness of the meal. To be more specific, wine can be categorized into three categories which can go a long way to guide you through the process of pairing. Red wines are known to be more bitter than the other assorted choices of wine, while white, rose`, and all sparkling wines are known for their acidic content, unlike the rest, and the last category of wines is those that fall in the sweet category.
Taste Components in Food
Food can be narrowed down to its most dominant taste. Some foods have more than one dominant taste, such as baked macaroni which is both fatty and salty at the same time. Other foods have more tastes, all dominant. An example of such is the Southern barbeque, which is known to be oily, salty at the same time sweet, and spicy at the same time. It is also acidic hence making it a complicated food when one has to pair it with a given wine to provide the most desirable coronary experience. The most important consideration, as earlier stated, with even the trickiest of foods is the individual intensities of elements that constitute such meals. Essential questions to ask here are as follows; how light is the food to the digestive system? Or, how precious are the ingredients within the menu? In pairing, balancing out elements is the essential bit of the tricky process, which many miss due to a lack of an elaborate understanding of items that one has to work with. Wine can either be light or bold, which is easy to tell from the description of elements as described in the packaging of most wines in the market today. An example of such composition in ordinary wines offered in most outlets today are such as Sauvignon Blanc, which is light-bodied in nature with high amounts of acidity; Chardonnay, on the other hand, is a bold wine but has lesser acidic content as compared to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir is another commonly offered wine and is classified as a light-bodied wine. This is not characteristic of most red wines, and it also lacks a significant tannin content which makes wines bitter. Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied and contains high tannin contents hence making it a bitter wine.
Sweetness and Heat
Spicy foods are to be paired with wines known to have more residual sugar content. Residual sugar is known to cool down the effect of most spices hence achieving the perfect balance between spicy food and sweet wine. An example of such wine is the German Riesling offered in many outlets with spicy foods however you should be wary of wine with high alcohol levels or wine with a concentration of tannins which end up making the food tastier.
Smoke an Oak
Foods that are prepared on a grill or that have to be charged should be paired with a choice of wine that has been matured with oak. An example of such wine is the California Chardonnay. This choice of wine is more intense than most due to its aging process. If not appropriately paired, they will ultimately overpower the flavors in most meals, and as such, they should be carefully paired with foods that match their intensity. Grilled foods neutralize the oaky strength of the wine and in turn, bring out the fruity flavors present in the wine hence improving your overall appetite while dining.
Flavors and textures
Another important thing that you have to consider in the delicate art of pairing foods is the balancing of flavors and textures present in wines and different foods. Mildly flavored wines go with mildly flavored foods, while heavy foods are to be paired with bold wines. Attaining a pair that has a balance in flavor and texture helps complement the taste of the food hence making your dining experience one not to forget. A perfect example of a suitable pair is a meal of lobster with butter sauce accompanied by California Chardonnay which is also buttery hence giving the meal a creamy texture.
Acid and Tannin with Fatty foods
An important consideration here is pairing fried foods which often are rich in fatty content with wines with high acidic content. Tannins present in such wines make the flavor bitter, and such acids are essential in breaking down the fat content which is desirable as the body does not have to strain to digest fatty foods. An example of such wines is the French Sauvignon, but such should not be paired with creamy sauces. This could potentially clash the different flavors hence depriving the meal of its rich taste. Creamy foods should thus be paired with complementary wines to preserve the flavor of food. Tannins are also known to act on the richness of individual foods. They are essential as, despite serving as a palate cleanser, they also help strip fats and other elements that stick on your tongue after a meal.
Bitter and Fatty foods
Any food that falls into the category of fatty foods can be well accompanied by a glass of wine with high levels of tannins. Such is an example of steak with an assortment of red wine such as the Italian Sangiovese which is rich in cherry flavor. Such a meal can also include herbed potato croquette, Tuscan Second, or roasted tomatoes. Such is a perfect balance of tannins in a meal that works to improve the overall taste of the food.
Sweet and Salt flavors
Another ideal pairing balance is the sweet wines accompanied by salty foods. It all may sound oppositive mixing salty with sweet, but if balanced well, the two can produce an incredible taste. If you have ever indulged yourself in a chocolate-covered pretzel, you know what I am getting at. This applies to foods and wines also. Sweetness counters the salt so does the salt on the sweet hence achieving a balanced flavor in the meal. The best example here is a meal of blue cheese paired with Port. Asian foods which are commonly salty or sweet can well be paired with Riesling.
Other pairing considerations should be along the lines of sweet foods with sweet wines to elevate the taste. Such should be well articulated because if the food is softer than the wine, one will end up being flabby. Dessert is also paired with sweet wine or wine that is constituted of complementary flavors. Another important consideration is that elements that grow together can be matched to produce a perfect blend. An example of this is Spanish foods paired with Spanish wine or Italian cuisine served with Italian wine.
This guideline should help you achieve the desired coronary experience, but one should also be open to new experiences trying different wines that one prefers with favorite foods to gain the ultimate coronary experience.