Wine pairing is tricky indeed. Some flavors are so strong as to limit your options. Experience teaches us to focus on weight of meal and match it to the wine. Another great trick is to extract notes in the wine and match them to ingredients in the meal. Citrus is the best example of this. Here are some other tips:
- Do not match strong to fragile. Coupling a large, effective, high-alcohol or high-tannin wine with a light, fragile recipe (as well as the other way around) is hardly ever a great idea.
- Acidity is your good friend. Individuals have the tendency to watch out for bottle of wines referred to as “high acid,” like Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet. Yet there’s no far better quality in a wine for matching abundant, creamy or tacky sauces, deep-fried meals or fish dishes; on top of that, sharp wines go a lot better with tart foods, such as a vinaigrette on a salad.
Tannins match well with fat. That’s because the astringency of the tannins cuts through the thickness of the fat.
- Follow the do not-upstage-the-star guideline. If you have a fantastic bottle of wine you want to show off, especially an older vintage (they have the tendency to be a lot more subtle, their tastes less flamboyant), do not serve a wildly complex recipe with it. A basic meal will certainly allow the wine to be the centerpiece.
Here are a few amazing pairings:
- Melon and prosciutto and dry Muscat. The perfumy, grapey character of the Muscat– Terre di Orazio’s bottling is particularly good– complements the melon, while the saltiness of the prosciutto makes a nice counterpoint to the wine’s ebullient fruitiness.
- Black truffles as well as aged Burgundy or white truffles and also old Barolo. Truffles have an untamed, musky, earthy depth that goes well with the aromas and flavors– gaminess, spice notes, earth, dried fruits and, well, truffles– that these wines acquire over time.
- Raw Belon oysters and steely, crisp Muscadet. Belons are difficult to pair with wine as a result of the intensely briny, virtually metal advantage to their flavor, but Muscadet’s vibrantly sharp citrus notes resemble a squirt of lemon juice (but the taste is even better).
- Plain roasted chicken and really good cru Beaujolais, like the Cote de Brouilly from Chateau Thivin. Cru Beaujolais is one of the world’s most underrated wines, and its fruit character (shading from cherry to blueberry or blackberry, relying on the village) as well as stylish structure really beam with a simple dish similar to this; it does not overwhelm the food. Plus, chicken as well as Beaujolais are both truly good the next day, gently chilled.
- Dark delicious chocolate desserts as well as Bual or Malmsey Madeira. Delicious chocolate is quite tough to join wines, yet Madeira’s combination of acidity and also sweet taste works extremely well with it.