Great food and wine pairing recipe are a menu that allows guests to easily enjoy complimentary high-quality food and wines. It can be any type of menu, too. And how it occurs varies greatly. It may mean: pairing one particular wine with one particular dish. It may also mean: pairing two wines together.
Food and wine pairings can have a big impact on the flavor and texture of whatever dish you pair them with. If the wines complement one another well enough, then the food will also benefit, too. The flavors will meld and flow harmoniously, resulting in a delicious meal that people will undoubtedly love. It’s just that simple. However, not everyone knows how to pull it off. Here are some simple guidelines.
The stronger the wine, the sweeter the food
Let’s start with the basics. There are three basic tastes found in wine or food: sweet, bitter, and acid. Sweet tastes are usually described as floral, while bitter tastes are usually described as meaty. There are other subtle variations, but those are the most common.
Sweet foods have a soft texture and delicate flavor. Examples include fruit desserts like apple pie or puddings made with cream cheese. These foods have a lot of sugar and don’t go very well with strong food types. Conversely, bitter foods have a sharp, bitter taste. Examples include beef stew or fish dishes.
The rule of thumb when it comes to food and wine pairing is: the stronger the wine, the more sweet the food must be. For example, red wine in a dish with chicken can overpower the natural sweetness of the chicken. So you would pair red wines with milder meats and cheeses.
When paired with certain foods, the sweetness is actually subtracted from the overall flavor, giving an overall feeling of less vibrant flavor and richness. Sweet wines can come through as simply sweet or as over-the-top with the highest levels of tannin.
Acidic food and sharp wine
Next, let’s look at acidity. In food and wine pairing, acidic food will enhance the flavor and fullness of the wine. A sharp, bitter flavor can be brought about by acidic food. Some of the most popular examples of acidic foods include garlic, onions, cabbages, tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, and pineapple. On the flip side, an alkaline wine like a zesty Vardon or Merlot will counteract the sourness of acidic foods.
Finally, let’s look at acidity and clarity. These are related to one another but play major roles in matching flavors with wines. Clear wines have light, crisp tastes, whereas foods with a greater amount of acidity have a fuller body and deeper, earthier flavor. For example, tart apples matched with a crisp, light Riesling will almost seem alive because it has that earthy taste.
There are three basic tastes you can pair with each vintage wine, and it helps to know which flavors evoke that feeling in the palette. The first one and simplest to describe are sweet. Food and wine do not have to complement each other in order to be a good match; they should be complimentary. Commonly used terms for describing this taste are fruity (i.e. apple, raspberry, orange), crisp, dry, and rich. Tons of acidity or bitterness are also considered to be characteristic of sweet wines.
Food and wine don’t always have to complement each other, they can instead go well together if they have a different taste profile such as acidic and spicy or herbal and woody. A lot of people will describe their flavors this way.
Lastly, there’s the bitter flavor profile. This is one where the wine has a very distinct flavor that simply makes the dish taste less like the dish would without the wine. For example, eating garlic instead of potato soup, or fish instead of beef stew are examples of this. It can also come from tart or salty foods and wines, so if you pair food and this type of wine, you’re almost guaranteed to end up with a dish that does not go well with the other. So if you want to find a complimentary wine pairing, think about what kind of flavor profiles you find in the dish you’re preparing; that way you’re much more likely to come up with a dish that goes well together.
Practice, practice, practice
So now you’ve got your basic knowledge about the basics of pairing food and wine. What’s next? Simple! Practice what you know! Match different foods and wines and keep tasting until you’re happy that you’ve found a drink that enhances each dish and compliments the other without being overwhelming.