Sip Tips for Food and Wine Pairing

  • Balance can be achieved by pairing similar or contrasting flavors.
    • Try a fruity white wine with a very spicy dish.
    • Pair a high acid wine with a high acid dish.
  • Match flavors: this is so simple that it is often overlooked.
    • The grapefruit/citrus taste of Sauvignon Blanc enhances the flavor of fish for the same reason that lemon goes with fish.
  • Avoid wines that are predominated by non-food flavors.
    • Oak is not a taste you expect to find in food ~ save oaky wines for fireside chats and other non-food events.
  • Consider sweetness level when pairing wine with food. Sweet food makes dry wine taste unpleasantly lean and acidic.
  • Acidity neutalizes acidity.
    • Pinot Noir stands up quite well to lemon, the acids in each are complementary.
  • Spice or heat in food clashes with high alcohol wines.
    • Look for wines with little or no oak and lower alcohol with spicy dishes.
  • Strong flavors will dominate delicate flavors: Match the intensity of food to the weight and body of the wine.
    • A heavy a alcoholic wine will not work with a delicate dish.
    • If the dish is rich, choose a full-bodied wine.
    • If the food is delicate, choose a lighter and/or more elegant wine.
  • Preparation and sauce are more important than what is being cooked.
    • Check out our chutneys.
  • Richness in a dish can either be cut through with a wine nicely balanced with acid or matched with a rich one.
  • Acid cuts through oiliness and fat.
    • Wines with acid complement creamy dishes.
    • The acid in Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with the oiliness of salmon.
    • Food with acid, like lemon or tomato, need with with acidity: ripe tomatoes with a lovely balanced Chardonnay is heaven.

Drink wine to enjoy the wine, the company and the moment. The perfect food and wine pairing is elusive. Drink wine you like with food you like, but never stop experimenting.

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