If you want to serve wine with food then you should be careful about selection of the wine as all wines do not go well with all kinds of foods. Though it is a personal choice of taste you should know at least the basics of pairing foods with wine.
Always remember that there is no rule of pairing food with wine but if you follow some basic guidelines then you can get the best taste from both the food and wine.
Understand the Taste of Food and Wine:
Before pairing food and wine you must understand the taste of both. This is very important for understanding the nature of food and wine. Without determining the tastes you can not pair foods with wine.
First, taste the wine and try to understand its smell, sweetness, taste and acidity. Mark it as soft or hard. Then try similar foods. Consider the charastics like texture, sweetness, acidity, taste etc. If it tastes good after wine then you’ve found the right pair. Repeat this process to match similar foods with wine.
Pair Wine According to Food Taste:
There are four types of basic tastes of foods – saltiness, sweetness, bitterness and acidity. It is very easy to understand the saltiness of a food. If your food is salty then choose sweet wine, otherwise the taste of wine will be spoiled. Remember that salt + sweet = good pair. Sweetness is an easy to understand taste but it differs according to age. Sweet food does not go well with sweet wine. Try to match sweet wine with foods that do not taste sweet. Bitterness is a magic taste and it reduces acidity of wine and makes it sweeter. So, pair fresh red wine with bitter foods like olives, wild herbs etc. You should not serve wine with acidic foods like vinegars. You can pair sweet wines with little acidic foods.
Pair Wine According to Food Type:
I already have mentioned that pairing wine and food does not have any rule, it is just a guideline. Wine can be paired according to food types also. Red wine goes well with beef or lamb but if you serve chicken, fish or seafood then pair white wine with it. If your food is spicy then pair it with sweet wine as the sweetness of wine reduces the spiciness and balance it. There are three types of cheese – soft, hard and blue. Pair hard wine with soft cheese, light wine with hard cheese and sweet wine with blue cheese. Though wine does not go well with desserts you can still pair desserts with sweet wines if the desserts itself is not too sweety.
Arrange the Meal:
You can arrange the meal from two ways – select the foods and pair wine with them or select the wine and pair foods with it. If you follow the basic guidelines of food-wine pairing then your dinner will be very successful. Do not follow any rule when pairing food and wine, you should account personal preferences.
The author is a specialist on wine and loves to taste different types of wine from around the world. He is a blogger on 'Wine Cooler Reviews' and reviews wine coolers from various brands.