6 Basic Elements of Food and Wine Pairings

 

Many people love enjoying a glass of wine at dinner. However, they might not know how to successfully pair their meals with the perfect drink. Here are a couple tips you can follow for a fabulous (and doubly delicious!) wining and dining experience.

gourmet wine basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

In general, there are six separate food elements that interplay with wine.

1. Fat Element

There’s fat in dairy products as well as in meats and sausages. Because wine is produced without fat, a balance must be found with the wine’s acidity. The tannins in a robust red will cut the fat’s heaviness, or you can complement its essential richness with the wine.

2. Acid Element

Wines have acidity, as do foods like fruit, particularly citrus. The right level of acid gives a wine its signature zing. Select wines with enough acidity to stand up to a specific dish to amp up your wine’s unique verve.

3. Salt Element

If you’re serving salty snacks, like nuts or an array of cheeses, you might be surprised that the best wine choice is a sweet Sauternes. Sparkling wines are also perfect palate cleansers with salty foods.

4. Sweetness Element

Some people might think that sweet wines pair well with sweet foods, but that’s not necessarily the case. While cured ham with a hint of sweetness can be paired seamlessly with a Chardonnay, you want to make sure you’re not overdoing these flavors. A Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream Truffle would never blend with a dry red, so try a semisweet red like a harvest zinfandel instead.

5. Bitterness Element

The bitter notes in wine are produced from tannins and can be tempered by fatty foods. Mustard and collard greens may have a bitter taste, but they can be paired with a Zinfandel or a Pinot Blanc. Foods and wines with bitter notes don’t do well together.

6. Texture Element

Texture in food and wines is measured by lightness and heaviness. Consider how pleasant a glass of white wine can be with some sliced fruit as an appetizer, or on its own. When you plan a big meal, a Pinot Noir or Chianti would be most appropriate.

gourmet wine basket

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