Wine and Food Pairing


You Are the Boss!

Drink what you like but let the door open to new discoveries.
Flavor is not in the wine, it is created in your brain and no two people are alike!
Taste and smell are very subjective and liable to interpretation.
Perception plays a large part in this game.

Make Mistakes and Learn!

Mistakes will turn out to be your best friends.
Pairing food and wine is an art not a dogma!
If you drink and eat what you like you can't go wrong.
Even if the pairing isn't perfect, you will still enjoy both.
It's fun to experiment and improve your sensory memory.
But always try to remember what went wrong and make it better.

Find the Strongest Feature!

The main ingredient is not necessary the dominant flavor.
Food: saltiness, acidity, fattiness, bitterness, sweetness.
Wine: acidity, fruitiness, tannins, alcohol, sweetness.
Other: herbs, spices, starches, dairies.

First Things First!

First find the balance between features.
Then narrow the choice according to your taste.

Opposite Attracts!

Salty foods (cheese) love sweeter wines.
Oily, fatty foods love acidity (whites and bobbles).
Meat and diary love tannins and acidity.

Similarities Can Complement Each Other!

Rich food to rich wine.
Heavy food to heavy (full bodied) wine.
Match texture to texture.
Meat and diary love also bitterness and alcohol.
Keep it simple and find a balance between elements.

Acid to Acid

If wine is less acid than food, it will taste like water.

Food coats your mouth and makes it hard for other flavors to break through.

A crispy wine cuts through fat, oil and starch, cleans your mouth and stimulates your senses. In addition, a crispy white reduces the seafoods "fishy" smell.

White Wines

White wines with high acidity pair well with seafood, lemon, and vinegar:

Sauvignon Blanc.
Pinot Grigio.
Sparkling Wines.

Red Wines

Red wines with high acidity pair well with grilled food and tomato based sauces:

Pinot Noir.

Salt Loves Bubbles!

Bubbles are best in cleaning your palate from salt.
Saltiness in food brings out sweetness, bitterness and tannins.
Avoid high alcohol levels because they bring out bitterness.

It's All About the Sauce!

Think about chicken as main ingredient:
Thai Green Curry Sauce + Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer.
Creamy Mushroom sauce + Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc.
Coq au Vin + Pinot Noir, Red Burgundy.
As you can see sauces make a difference.
And if you cook with wine, serve the same!

Break the Taboo!

The rule "white wine with fish and red wine with meat" is not always true.

Some meaty and fatty fishes such as tuna, swordfish, monkfish, cod and salmon can be enjoyed with light reds such Pinot Noir, Cerasuolo, Beaujolais.

Especially if grilled or roasted and if wrapped in bacon or served with meat (surf`n`turf) or hearthy vegetables (lentils, mushroom).

It's the iron concentration, and not the tannins, in red wines which is responsible for the metallic, fishy aftertaste.

Stay unconventional and try a lean filet mignon or beef tartare with Rose' Champagne or a fatty steak with a oily, oak aged white (Chardonnay, Marsanne, Roussanne, Oaked White Rioja).

Match the Intensity!

Food from light to heavy: veggies, pasta-noodles, white fish, chicken, fatty fish, grilled meats, hearty stews.
Whites from light to heavy: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Albariño, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, Semillon, oaked Chardonnay.
Reds from light to heavy: Pinot Noir, Barbera, Beaujolais, Chianti, Côtes du Rhône, Primitivo, Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec, Amarone, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbaresco, Barolo.

Sweet to Sweeter!

The dessert rule: wine must be sweeteest.

Sweet to Spice = Nice!

Spicy food calls for cold, sweet white wines low in alcohol.
The sweetness coats your tongue and turns off the fire.
Watch out for bold reds high in tannins and alcohol: like gasoline on the fire.

Go Local!

Wine making and culinary tradition have evolved together in the Old World.

Classic European dishes were created with wine in mind and, sometimes, as an ingredient (Coq au vin, Beef Bourguignon, Ragout).

European wines have a range of fruity, bitter, sweet, tannic and acidic qualities that complement the regional culinary tradition.
Centuries of experience pay off.

Beef and Wine

Filet Mignon: Pinot Noir (earthy truffle notes).
Less fat call for light reds or high acid whites.
Break the taboo and try a New World Chardonnay if there is a butter sauce, or a full bodied Viognier with rosemary flavors.

Prime Porterhouse: Bordeaux Blends, Barolo.
Known as "The King of the T-Bones", the Porterhouse is just a larger T-Bone.
A T shaped bone divides two sides of the steak: the filet on one side and the New York Strip Steak on the other. That's why this is often served for 2.

Prime Rib-Eye: Syrah from Northern Rhone, savory, dense, meaty perfect with this steaks marbling.

Kagoshima Wagyu: Barolo, Nebbiolo The tannin of the nebbiolo will be attracted to the high fat content in the Wagyu