Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pairing wine

All this talk of wine, I thought I would give some notes on pairing wine & food:
  • White with White, Red with Red is antiquated. If you need a singular rule, instead think of White with Light, Red with Rich.
  • Oil & Vinegar. The acid of the vinegar cuts the oil and vice versa. Apply the same rule to wine. Pair acidic wines with oily foods: Pinot Noir w/ Salmon.
  • Pairing food & wine is a balancing act. And with wine & food, the best balance can be opposites attract. Think lightly sweet white with spicy food. Gewurztraminer or Riesling with Thai or Mexican.
  • Or...match flavors. The grapefruit/citrus taste of Sauvignon Blanch goes with fish for the same reason lemon does.
  • In pairing, avoid wines that are predominated by non-food flavors. Oak isn't a taste you expect in food. Save oaky wines for fireside chats or curling up with a book, movie or...
  • Try not to pair wine with food that is sweeter than the wine. Save sweet, dessert wines for After dessert.
  • Number one rule. Drink wine to enjoy it and the company you share with it. Food and wine pairings are elusive and mythical. Drink wine you like with food you like, but never stop experimenting.
Notes totally cribbed from a brochure I picked up from San Diego grocer, Ralphs. For more on food & wine pairing, look up Andrea Immer (some books here & here).

1 comment:

Stef said...

I *love* a sweet white, like riesling, with sushi. I was really surprised with how well it went together, but it's probably a combo of the lightness of the fish/rice and the hotness of the wasabi.