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Top 5 Tips For Pairing Wine And Food

May 29, 2008
Pairing wine with the right food is a skill. You have to learn from trial and error what wine tastes best with what food. You will be able to eventually know right away what wine works with your menu. In the meantime, you can use the following 5 tips that experts use to know what direction to go with your wine and food pairing.

These tips give you some basic facts about pairing food and wine that can help you to understand more about why some wine and some foods do not mix well or why some wines work perfect with certain foods. Having this basic knowledge will help you out tremendously in your effort to learn how to pair wine and food.

1. Avoid food that damages the taste of the wine. There are certain foods that will alter the taste of wine or make it so you can not taste the wine properly. You want to avoid foods that will not allow you to enjoy the full flavor of the wine. Such foods include - red meats with white wines; fish, vegetables and goat cheese with red wine; spice, garlic, vinegar and raw fruit with most wines.

2. Match old wines with delicate flavors. Older wines tend to have a mellower flavor that needs to be paired carefully. You can not use bold flavored foods or it will overpower the wine, perhaps even completely wipe out the subtle flavors of the wine.

3. Sweet or bitter foods accentuate the dryness of wine. You want to avoid pairing foods with a bitter taste, bitter aftertaste, or a sweet taste or aftertaste with any wine that tends to be dry. Instead you can pair these foods with a wine that is not dry.

4. Salty and acid flavors of food accentuate the sweetness of wine. As with bitter or sweet foods, with salty and acid foods you want to be careful paring it with wine that is sweet. You could end up with an overwhelming sweetness that prevents anyone from enjoying the wine. Try dry wines or those with a bitter taste with sweet foods.

5. More complex wines need less complex food flavors. Simple food with complex wine and complex food with simple wine is the general rule. This allows for the wine to stand out and to blend with the food.

Just remember, the most important thing is that you enjoy your wine and your meal.
There are no hard and fast rules to pairing food and wine. These general rules can assist you, but there are always exceptions to the rules. You just have to trust your own palette.

Be willing to sample and to try things out to see if they will work or not. Eventually you will know what goes good with your favorite wines. When trying new wines, though, it will usually be trial and error to find the perfect match. Pairing food and wine is not something that you ever master because there are so many variables that makes it a never ending lesson.
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