October 22, 2008

Wine 101: Wine Pairings

Food and wine pairing can be intimidating. A few months back I participated in a wine tasting abroad Princess Cruiseline and they provided a terrific outline I figured may help provide each of your with a few basic principles to eliminate confusion and enhance your dining experience. Enjoy! 

Weight or Texture
Food and wine can be light, medium or heavy-bodied.

Same Weight or Texture
Similarly weight food and wine compliment each other.
EG: Lobster with Chardonnay. Both are medium-weight and rich.

Same Flavors
Similar flavors of food and wine compliment each others.
EG: Filet of sole with lemon sauce paired with Sauvignon Blanc. Both have citrus flavors and high acidity.

Wines should be equal to, or higher in sugar than the dish.
EG: Roasted pork with apple glaze pairs well with a fruity Chardonnay or off-dry Riesling.

Wine should be equal to, or higher in acid than the dish.
EG: Pinot Noir with bright red cherry flavors is an excellent choice with grilled halibut.

Acid wines balance salty flavors.
EG: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc balances salty olives or feta cheese.

Tannins & Proteins
Wines with tannin cut through the coating that fat leaves in the mouth.
EG: Steak is a great match with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Spicy Food
Spices inflame that taste receptors and off-dry wines offer relief from the heat.

Protein is the Vehicle
When meat or fish is prepared with a sauce or preparation, match the wine to the sauce.