Wine and Food Pairing

Wine and Food Matching causes many debates among certain people – different people have different opinions, Chefs believe their opinion is the Best and Only, Wine People think they Know what’s Really going on, Restaurateurs (or RestauranNteurs to some) are influenced by Their Chefs, Wine/Food critics get a general Idea from everyone around them, and Some people don’t care what’s what with the specifics as long as they enjoy their wine and food… The Last group of people are correct – It’s just Your opinion that counts…

Always stick with what you like, But here are some general Food/Wine Matching tips that I like, from my Opinion, that allow both the food and wine to Enhance each other’s flavours.

When thinking about what food goes best with what wine, think in terms of the WEIGHT of the wine, from light bodied, medium bodied, and full bodied – in both reds and whites. Considering weight, I believe, is more important than just thinking about the flavours of a wine, if you had to consider one over the other.

First – Hearty Food needs a Hearty Wine – such as Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Shiraz Cab Merlot. These go well with hearty foods such as Steak, Braised Pork Belly, Ribs, Lasagne, Bolognese, Beef Stroganoff, etc…
I find these foods with a Pinot Noir or Sangiovese for example would make the wine taste insipid and floppy.

Lighter wines such as Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, straight Grenache, Dolcetto, Cabernet Franc etc, will balance nicely with lighter foods such as grilled Chicken, Mushroom Risotto, or even a slow cooked lamb or venison sometimes. I think Light to Heavier Whites (eg Sauvignon Blanc) may also go with Chicken. In my opinion, a Light-Medium bodied Red (eg. Grenache) may also go with Chicken, especially if it has cheese or heavy butter sauce, and even with red wine, the cheese/butter (combined w the Chicken) won’t be overridden on the palate – I find they both play nicely.

White wines with good acidity generally go well with seafood, especially oily fish such as Salmon or Mackerel. Pinot Gris or even Grigio (Italian) are lovely with oysters, as they are both delicate but have a certain weight about the same. White Wines generally go with Pasta and Risottos, particuarly Seafood, Creamy Mushroom or Vegetable Pasta/Risotto – A light Red can also go with pasta/risotto, depending on the ingredients, for example Duck/Red meat Pasta/Risotto can team with a Sangiovese.
Rose actually seems to go with a lot of food, in my opinion, most of the time, neither enhancing or interrupting the food. In particular I see Rose to most complement smoked foods, Thai and other mixed Asian cuisine, Frittatas, Quiches, and pale pink meat – Hams and Pork…

Both Light-Medium-Full Bodied Red and White wines can go well with Cheeses and other Dairy products, eg. Sauvignon Blanc with Goats Cheese, Pinot Noir with Camembert (semi soft cheese w a soft but bit tannic red wine), or a Merlot with Brie (soft cheese w tannins and spice from the Merlot). And most White wines can complement Fruit, or Sweet wines with fruit also. A full flavoured White (eg. Chardonnay) can go w Cheescake. A fruit driven Shiraz goes decadently with a dense Chocolate flourless cake and Raspberries, as well as Chocolate on it’s own. Most reds such as Pinot Noir, Cab Sauv or Merlot go with Chocolate too… 🙂
Now, regarding Flavour of wines/foods, simply put: Red Wine with Red Meat, White Wine with White Meat, More Fatty food with more Tannic (in Red wine) or Acidic (in White wine) wines, Raw foods such as Sushi, Caviar or Oysters with Off-Dry, Semi-Sweet White Wine (eg. Riesling), Sour or Salty foods with Acidic wine, Sweet Wine with sweet-toned Entree or Dessert – or Dense Red with Dense Dessert…
There are differing opinions to what food goes with what wine, and some are quite particular about it. I’ve also seen some useless sites on the net about this, and they don’t explain enough with their “rules”. But this post is just very general, easy, And It’s Good to Experiment with Slight Deviations of the rules of the purists. After all, everyone’s palate is different and it’s all about what you personally like. I still enjoy a Tannic Red with butter-soaked Lobster Mornay…

Here I found a good simple site:
http://wine.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Food_Wine_Pairing_Chart
Cheers!

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7 thoughts on “Wine and Food Pairing

  1. What a great post for a clueless wine drinker such as myself. What you say about the "weight" makes a lot of sense to me, and I think this is what I tend to do without realising it when I try and choose a wine to go with a meal. I really do need to learn more about the qualities of each variety though!

  2. I never really thought about the "weight" either – I go by "red goes with red meat and white goes with white meat". I consider myself learned!

  3. Cute website! Thanks for visiting mine! This post is really helpful, actually. I never know how to pair food with wine — I usually just drink what I have, but maybe now I'll try to think about it more. Thanks!

  4. Conor – Thanks Conor for ur comment. Good u got the instinct to go w weight, We just keep on tasting we can never learn enough! I'm still thinking about those delicious Nougat/Turkish Delights from that Subiaco restaurant!Rose – Thanks for reading!Christian – take me to da BulldogsPeachkins – I looked at your blog, looks lovely!Msmeanie – Thanks for reading, Love your Dessert pics and recipes. Those brownies…!

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