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Understanding matching wine with food

Fri, 07/24/2015
Anonymous (not verified)

Wine and Food Pairing

By Levi Black
The pairing of food and wine can be a challenge for a variety of reasons like personal taste and cultural background. But if we take a different approach and look at the science of how chemicals effects the taste buds we can better understand this concept. 

Acidity would be a key factor in the pairing of acids in both food and wine,It essentially helps to maintain the freshness and balance. The primary acid in all wine is the tannins that is liken to sucking on a lemon. The contact of the grape skin's with the wine juice or must creates tannins during the wine production process called maceration, it has such a big effect on the taste balance and color of the wine. The sensation that wine give us such as flavor and aroma does not come chiefly from the tongue. Our tongues have multiple flavor points for each  flavor, so in tasting a wine it should fully cover the mouth. The tip of the tongue senses sweet, the front and sides sense salt, the back side's sense acidity, but the back experiences a somewhat bitter sensation. We all have different taste so rules don't really apply. So in deciding on a sure fire way too decide on a good pairing, pick the most dominant flavor in the food and choose a wine to match the weight and power of the dish. 

Try to develop your own techniques through experimenting with regional foods.Build on the things you have tried with the use of your smart phone take notes. Italian food and wine is something that we are all pretty comfortable with so try pairing various wine and certain varietals with your favorite Italian dishes. The meat and sauces with various Italian dishes can provide you with a range of options for matching wine with differrent flavors from both the wine and the food itself.

Here are a couple of thoughts you can use to help you in your development of how you see the pairing of food and wine

1.      Acidity in wine pairs well with fatty and sweet foods

2.      Fatty foods need either and acidic or high in alcohol wine, otherwise the wine will taste flabby.

3.      Bitter (Tannic) wine can be balanced with sweet food or cheese

4.      Salty shouldn't compete with acidity in wine. Use it sparingly as necessary to keep the focus in the meal.

5.      Sweet food/wine benefits from a little acidity

6.      Alcohol can be used to cut through fatty foods or balance a sweet dish


 Regional pairing with food that you are familier with could be a good jumping off point to try .Try maybe grilled Sardines and a white Bordeaux see how the acidity of both the chard on the fish and the bright acidity of  the wine. Bon Apetit!