Food and wine have shared a passionate relationship for centuries. They have grown and evolved together to create a dynamic duo for dining, but what is it about food and wine pairing that makes this interaction exciting and inviting?
When we pair food and wine, the aim is to have them enhance each other to elevate our dining experience. While the rules of white wines with fish and red wine with meat no longer exclusively apply, there is definitely a science to coupling food and wine that involves tastes, aromas, textures, and content of what is being served. But please, don’t let this scare you because the enjoyment of food and wine is also about the person who is creating the combinations.
“Enjoying food and wine pairing is very subjective. People enjoy what they like and successful pairings are many times based on individual preferences,” states culinary arts instructor Dr. Desmonette Hazly. “The trick is finding out what you like, which requires a healthy dose of adventurous curiosity coupled with the willingness to try something new with your familiar preferences.”
When exploring food and wine pairings, Dr. Hazly suggests these fundamental helpful tips to make your food and wine experience delicious and delightful:
- Pair the wine according to personal tastes. If you or your guest prefer red wines, choose red wine for the meal.
- Balance the weight and texture of the food with the weight (body) of the wine. The food and wine should have equal intensities. A heavy meal like a hearty beef stew can overpower a light-weight wine and a light meal can be overwhelmed by a full-bodied heavyweight wine.
- Sweeter wines with spicy foods. Sweeter wines balance the heat of spicy dishes and highlight the other flavors present in food.
- When serving food with sauces, pair the wine to the sauce. Because a sauce can be the dominant flavor of a dish, it is best to match the wine with the characteristics of the sauce.