Pairing the right wine with food can be one of the most difficult tasks in the kitchen. Choosing can sometimes seem like a roll of the dice, select the perfect one and you’ll look like a god. Mess it up and you’re a goat. We’ve heard the old school rule of white for white and red for red but it can be a lot more involved than that. Here’s my Idiots Guide to Wine.
Let’s start with a little background education, I’ll never claim to be an expert Sommelier, far from it, it takes too much commitment to reach that level. I’m still in the early stages of learning about wines but would like to share what little bit of knowledge I’ve accumulated so far. Let’s first correct some old school thinking…It’s not all about the wine; from now on think of the food first. So we’ll start with a twist on the old school rule…
Rule 1… Pair like tastes together
- This is very simple, your food and wine should share characteristics. So if your food is light so should be your wine and conversely a heavier food requires a fuller bodied wine.
Rule 2… Your taste buds are always trying to play tricks on you
- Without getting too technical every bite we place into our mouths can change how the next is going to taste. So you can see how this can effect the choice of wine, a salty food can lessen the tartness of the wine while sugar can raise the acidity.
Rule 3… Trust your senses
- Time for tasting 101, two like sources do not increase their effects on your senses. When pairing a wine with a sweet dessert go for one that is sweeter than the dish. And acidic foods, recipes that perhaps call for citrus or vinegar need a wine that is higher acidity to balance it out.
So keeping it short and sweet. Your taste buds are going to determine which wine is most suited for yourself. But with a little trial and error you can find those 3 or 4 wines that will end up being the staple of your wine cabinet.