Back in the days, Ancient Greeks knew how to choose wines to the dishes favorably emphasizing its taste. With the right combination the wine is alway tastier and more noble.
Unfortunately, nowadays most people have lost the habit of leisurely family dinners, and for a festive dinner we buy wines in accordance with personal preferences, not taking into account the features of the menu.
Nevertheless, there is a certain culture of wine and dishes pairing, and the knowledge of the compatibility of wine and food continues to be relevant. After all, the right menu, along with the right glasses and the right temperature, is an important factor that allows wine to “open up” and bring maximum pleasure. Wine can perfectly complement and emphasize the taste of meal. But only competently selected wine can truly reveal all the taste characteristics and accents of the dish so that even the quite familiar taste of it will play in a new way.
To tell the truth, the ability to combine wine and food has become a real science with a whole set of vowel and unspoken rules that can confuse any gourmet beginner. Seemingly indestructible principles of pairing white wine to fish and red to meat don’t always work.
Wine and food are the real game of taste. There are certain rules due to the taste characteristics of wine (white, red, dry, semi-dry, sweet, semisweet, and sparkling) and products. The dishes you eat should depend on the richness of the wine you use with it. The taste should be emphasized and supplemented, but not interrupted.
If the wine itself is bright with a spicy hue, it is better to eat saturated dishes with a rich taste. For example white wine is good for dense dishes with garlic dressings and sauces, red wine is appropriate for spicy meal, steak or Indian cuisine.
To emphasize and complement the taste of food, it is necessary to resort to the principle of tastes fusion – to make food and wine serve as a “continuation” of each other.
To make any wine play brighter, use the second principle – the contrast of tastes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with combinations: sometimes unexpected and seemingly incompatible things can pleasantly surprise you. For example, one of the classic combinations of contrasting flavors is the spicy cheeses served with sweet wines.
Also, there are some rules that are based on wine characteristics (astringency, acidity, oiliness, intensity of aromas) and food (intensity of aromas, texture of the main component of the dish, fat content, juiciness, sweetness, acidity).
The following characteristics make perfect duos:
Astringency-Texture: the more vividly expressed the texture of the dish main component, the tougher must be the wine.
Oiliness-Juiciness: oily wine should be washed down with a juicy dish.
Acidity-Fat: the fatter the dish, the more acidity in the wine should be.
Aroma-Aroma: to the “odorous” dish should be served wine with intense flavor.
Sweetness-Sweetness: sweet desserts are served with sweet drinks.
Sometimes, in combination of wine and food, one should be guided by the taste characteristics of the sauce that is served to a dish. In such case the wine should match the flavor, density and other taste characteristics of the sauce. Rich wine such as Chardonnay will suit to creamy variations of sauces (as an example, Bechamel Sauce), Pinot Noir and Sangiovese and will ideally match to berry sauces. Pesto sauce or tomato based sauces will perfectly taste with light white dry wines. To a balsamic sauce choose wines with similar notes in a bouquet (Sangiovese, Tempranillo).
To conclude, if being honest, no rules can be set when talking about wine! After all, food and wine pairing is an art, and the art has no boundaries. So study, be inspired and feel free to experiment!
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