Wine Pairing Guide
The Art of Pairing …
A delicate balance of flavours appealing to the senses.
It really is quite remarkable how a good pairing is able to highlight and often improve all properties of a wine and create harmony on your palate, enhancing your dining experience. If your match is done well, you’re about to have the best steak of your lifetime, and the best wine of course.
Follow these few simple rules and change the way you experience wine, and food.
Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but for the dominating flavour profile, these should work, and if they don’t, let me know about it, as I would be interested to know why.
Flavour | Sweet
Makes wine taste more dry and acidic, more bitter and decreases the perception of sweetness and body - pair with a wine that is sweeter or a wine that is low in acidity and tannin if red; for example pudding and a late noble harvest or pudding and a fruity Viognier.
Rule - make sure wine is sweeter than the dish, or low in acidity and tannins.
Flavour | Umami
Makes wine taste more bitter and increases the perception of acidity and alcohol - do not pair with anything oaked or with high tannin structures. Food examples include cooked mushrooms, asparagus, eggs and ripe soft cheeses.
Rule - make sure wine is low in acidity and unoaked.
And don’t forget sauce profiles and pair a flavourful high tannin red with a steak and mushroom sauce. The wine will taste more bitter than it actually is and will in fact not go at all!
Flavour | Salty
Makes wine taste less dry, less bitter and less acidic and has the perception of making the wine taste smoother and fruitier.
Rule - make sure the wine is high in acidity and tannin(red).
If you have a chosen a red, choose one high in tannin as the saltiness will give the appearance of smoother tannins.
Flavour | Acidic
Makes wine taste less bitter and acidic and increases the perception of body and fruitiness. Food high in acidity bring a wine high in acidity into balance and enhances the fruitiness.
Rule - make sure wine is high in acidity.
Flavour | Fatty, Oily
Makes wine appear less acidic.
Rule - pair with wines high in acidity to cut through the richness of the food.
Flavour | Hot, Chilli
Makes wine appear high in alcohol and increases the perception of bitterness and acidity.
Rule - pair with wines low in alcohol and acidity, with perhaps some sweetness.
Flavour | Highly Flavoured Foods
These flavours can overwhelm the wine, so make sure the wine is aromatic and has strong flavours.
Rule - always match the flavour intensity of the wine with the food or type of food to body of the wine.