When considering food pairing, it is common to associate it with wine. However, the choices of wines that one can find on the market, are countless. Loads of choices, lead to a challenging and confusing process.
Nowadays, people can purchase decent wines from local supermarkets and some visit specialised wine shops with the hope that their shopping experience, will be accompanied by professional guide.
However, as eras are changing and our time gets more and more limited, we want easy options with a perfect outcome so let’s start by saying that pairing Wine with Food Isn’t Rocket Science.
There is a myth, saying that whites are for fish and reds are for meat. This is anything BUT true. What we have to consider, when pairing food with wine is more than just the colour. We need to know how the meal is cooked, what aroma/dressing/sauce will accompany it, how fatty/light it is, etc.
Below are a few tricks that will assist you in picking the correct wine for every meal.
A general guide is – light vs. full-bodied:
Lighter-bodied wines go with light dinners and summertime. They usually have, lower alcohol, higher acidity and lower tannins.
Fuller-bodied wines go with stronger food like casserole food, a steak dinner, more complex recipes and cold winter nights. They have higher alcohol, are lower in acidity and drier.
The body of a wine, most of the times can be recognized by its alcoholic volume.
- Light-bodied wines contain 10-12.5% abv (alcohol by volume), whereas Fuller-bodied wines can start from 13-15% abv.
Fatty, greasy or rich dishes need a dry wine with good acidity to clean the palate.
Salty dishes need a slightly sweet wine, with full fruit flavours, and little to no tannins.
Hot, spicy dishes pair well with fruity wines having refreshing acidity.
Food featuring cream sauces and butter require wines of good fruit with creamy character or contrasting sharper acidity to cleanse the palate.
Rare cooked meats need young, tannic reds, whereas well-done meats need older or fruity reds with little to no tannins.
Follow these 3 rules:
- Simple wine with simple food
- Light bodied wines with Light food
- Aged wines, or full bodied with stronger flavoured food
What happens though, when we have to pair wines with a variety of flavours and foods?
A simple example can be found in our traditional Cypriot mezedes, where you can find a variety, from cold salads to rich, herbal meats. This, can pose to be a problem! The ideal scenario would be to have a different wine for every dish – time-consuming, expensive and difficult to apply. So a solution for mezedes would be a well-structured rose wine which combines the aromas of a refreshing white wine, with the body and structure of a red one. Both important factors that will enhance the bridging of food and wine pairing.
If you have a sweet tooth and there is always room for dessert, pair it with a sweet, refreshing, high acidic wine. Remember: A dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert.
Extra Tip: Order of Serving – In general terms, good rules to follow are:
- White before red
- Dry before sweet
- Young before aged
- Light before full-bodied
See you next week!
Until then.. Strike for a glass half full !