One of the best things about wine is pairing it with even better food. Although there are many versatile wines out there, one wine does not necessarily suit every dish, and when you find the wine that compliments your food, you are left with a taste sensation, amplifying the flavors in both the wine your’re sipping and the food you’re eating – it’s a beautiful thing. Do your taste buds a favour (or should we say, a flavour…) and try out these rules for food and wine pairing!
Rule #1: Intensely Flavoured Foods
Match intensity with intensity – Bold wines with bold foods, delicate wines with delicate foods. For example, a lighter wine, like Espiral Vinho Verde, with a light green salad or a full-bodied red, like Mathilde Chapoutier Languedoc Red Blend, with mouth-watering steak. Wine can be easily overwhelmed by the food flavours, and we certainly don’t want that to happen!
Rule #2: Fatty Foods
If chicken strips and fries or a succulent poutine are on the menu tonight reach for a wine that has high levels of acidity, such as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, like Bay and Barnes Block! Choosing this wine will help to cut out the fatty flavours and the wine will seem to offer a lesser intense acidic flavour.
Rule #3: Spicy Foods
It’s the age old dynamic duo… sweet and spicy. If you’re someone who enjoys hot sauce on everything, reach for a wine with a sweet flavour. For example, try pairing the delicious Bookends Page Turner White from BC with a spicy Pad Thai! The food and wine will compliment each other as the pairing creates balance from the contrasting tastes and flavours.
Rule #4: Sweetness
Moscato, Viognier and Gewürztraminer are wines that may pack a sweet punch, especially when paired with the right dish. Next time you’re reaching for one of these varietals or choosing one on a menu, choose a meal that offers sweetness in the dish as well. For example, pairing an aromatic white, like Carmela Sparkling Muscat, with a salad with candied pecans and apples. This is a great example of a congruent pairing, which creates balance between the flavours by amplifying the shared flavour compounds in the wine and food!
Rule #5: Don’t be ruled by these rules!
One rule of thumb: Don’t be ruled by these rules. We all have different palates and taste and our personal preference matters!
These rules merely scratch the surface on how to create the ultimate food and wine pairing. Want to know more? Check out our events page and find a wine class nearest you to learn more about various varietals and their food companions!