Forget Highbrow Snobs and Trust Your Instincts
How to Match Food with Wine.
They must be two of my most favourite things in the world…. that’s right FOOD and WINE. Paring wine with food does not have to be a big ordeal; in fact it can be a very much be a fun and interesting activity. The first thing to remember is to forget the strict rules about matching food and wine. Forget what some purists have told you… should do this and mustn’t do that….. My approach to this delicious subject is to keep it simple: know the basics and follow your instincts.
Despite all of the hoopla and hype surrounding the wine and food, wine pairing can be simplified quite successfully. Know the taste of the available wines and just choose the wine that you would drink yourself, yes I am going back to trusting your instincts. You wouldn’t drink a full bodiedBordeauxwith your fish now would you? Basically picking a good wine ensures you will enjoy the wine you are drinking, even if the wine pairing is not perfect.
This is where common sense comes in. The traditional old rule of drinking red wine with meat and game, and white with fish makes perfect sense. Today’s wine producers however, are truly out doing themselves. Whites and reds can share simular notes; Both can be floral, earthy, spicy, leathery and buttery. The apple, pear and citric fruit flavours found in many whites rarely show up in reds. Oppositely the cherry, currant and stone fruit flavours of red wine hardly ever appear in whites.
In addition to this, some champagnes are more delicate than some Rieslings and some Sauvignon Blancs are bigger than some Chardonnays. What I am saying is that when pairing food with wine, you should take a broad approach. If you are looking for something light to serve with dinner, choose a wine from the lighter end of the wine spectrum and you will not go wrong. Equally if you are looking for something full bodied look at the heavier end of the scale. As you can see, it isn’t rocket science…
Now for some wine basics… ( I mean really basic information).
- Good wine is one of life’s greatest pleasures, it is supposed to be enjoyed, not over legislated.
- To appreciate wine all you need is a deliberate and inquisitive mind
- When pairing wine with food, look for balance and consider the body of the wine against the richness of the food. Getting both elements present in roughly equal measures is the trick. Get this right and you are well on your way to a fabulous evening.
- Examples of a white wine spectrum:
- Light: Soave, Rioja, Pinot Grigio
- Medium:Bordeauxwhite, Sancerre, Sauvignon blanc
- Full/heavy: Chardonnay, Burgundy white, Vionier
- Examples of a red wine spectrum:
- Light:Beaujolais, Dolcetto
- Medium: Burgundy, Cabernet franc, Pinot Noir, Rioja red
- Medium to full:Bordeaux, Merlot, Brunello di Montalcino
- Full Bodied: Barolo and Barbaresco, Chateauneuf-du-pape,Shiraz, Margeaux
That is basic wine knowledge 101. I will be adding to this scrumptious topic a little later, which will include, aperitifs, digestives, desert wines and champagnes.
To summarise this article, remember not to over complicate the process and have a meltdown. Choose a selection of Good wines and enjoy your dining experience.
Thank you for reading my article on How to Match Food with Wine.
Safe travels and calm seas