Pairing your favourite wine with food can be an exquisite combination. However, the entire vibe and mood can get ruined if you do not know the tastes and rules of pairing these delicacies. If you want a more educated approach to combining your favourites for a scrumptious meal, keep reading to find 10 cardinal rules for great wine and food pairings.
Table of Contents
Cardinal Rules of Wines and Food Pairings
You must keep the following rules in mind to ensure beautiful and suitable pairings always:
Consider Umami Flavours
Umami flavours present deliciousness in the food using soy sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, most red meats, wild mushrooms, etc. The umami flavour contributes to a sensational dish paired with the best wine. The overall experience heightens with the umami component and well-paired wine and food. For instance, while steak and cabernet Sauvignon is a successful match, adding grilled mushrooms on top of the steak gives an extra punch to the dish.
High-Fat Foods Call for High-Powered Wines
A dish high in fats has significant animal fat, butter, cream, etc. An equally rich, intense, concentrated, and structured wine pairs well with such foods. The meat’s formidableness gets stood up with the wine’s immense structure. Similarly, the richness and fat in meat soften the wine’s tannins. A good quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a grilled steak is one of the best combinations. Remember this one of the 10 cardinal rules for great wine and food pairings and be a hit among your friends and family.
Choose Mirror or Contrast
You can either mirror flavours or contrast them. Mirroring means correlating wines and food with similar traits like peppery items with peppery wine like Zinfandel. Lobster and Chardonnay are also mirroring flavours, both being rich, creamy, and opulent. However, going in the opposite direction can also bring deliciousness to the table. The same cream sauce lobsters will also pair well with Champagne, which is crisp, tingling, and sleek.
Flexible Wine Option
Out of the 10 cardinal rules for great wine and food pairings, a wine must have a seesaw-like capability. It must push the person to take a bite of food, then a sip of wine, and so on. Lightly flexible white wine like Chardonnay tastes hard and dull with various foods due to the toasty oak and high alcohol content. Sauvignon Blanc or Dry Reisling has maximum flexibility and cleansing acidity. Red wines may either be high in tannins or fruitiness, thus becoming the perfect food pair.
- Sweet on Sweet Pairings
While considering wines with desserts, you must practice cautiousness. Sweeter wines compared to desserts may cause the former to taste blank and dull. Thus, to prevent wines from getting knocked out of character, pairing carefully is critical. Balancing more sweet wines with lightly sweet desserts are made-in-heaven pairings.
- Find Success with Spice
Spices leave a tingling sensation on the tongue. Thus, the 10 cardinal rules for great wine and food pairings ask to carry it with sweeter wines such as Moscato means having complementing partners. You can enjoy the spicy flavour without getting overwhelmed and neutralising the heat from the food. Also, you must avoid wines with higher tannin content (acidity) as it may leave the mouth dehydrated and irritate the tongue.
- Explore Salt Versus Acidity
A great contrast you must explore is the combination of salty foods and acid wines. High-acid wines like Reisling and soy sauce in Asian dishes, smoked salmon and Champagne, Chianti and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese are a few excellent combinations. This pairing keeps the flavours intact and lets you enjoy each sip of wine and bite of food wondrously.
- Match Food with the Quality, Intensity, and Character of the Wine
While pairing your food, the 10 cardinal rules for great food and wine pairings want you to consider matching the quality of both elements. Special occasions call for exquisite dishes and superior wines. Similarly, regular dishes go well with simple wines. Moreover, intensity and wine power should also draw out the best flavours in both food and wines. For instance, go for subtle, robust, heavy, and light meals with similar wines, respectively.
- Same Region Food and Wine Coupling
Choosing wines and food from the same region is an excellent idea. The similarities come from the designs as they are supposed to go together. The connected roots enable you to enjoy both regional delicacies with great swing and excitement.
Never Pick Dry Wine and Sweet Dishes Together
Serving dry wines and sweet dishes together is a no-go, cakes and Champagne. Both delicacies have clashing flavours that either overpower the other or lead to a dry and dull taste. A sweet dish will make the wine taste astringent and sour if not paired properly. Similarly, tannic dry wines and desserts strip away the balance and harmony of the palate. Thus, either consider the pairing rules beforehand or finish your wine before the dessert arrives.
Hopefully, these 10 cardinal rules for great wine and food pairings will prevent you from ruining your meal and enjoying it to the full. These pretty simple principles can guide you well for your next get-together, restaurant reservation, or your alone eating experience. Apart from these rules, you can try experimenting yourself and see what tingles your taste buds positively. Make a booking with Hunter Valley private wine tours today to pair the best wines with food.