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Food and Wine Pairing

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Food and wine pairing has over the centuries evolved to bring together an array of dining experiences that many food enthusiasts look at as an art. Some communities look at it as the root of native cuisines that they have inherited from older generations. These give rise to traditional food values and eating habits by which specific communities can be identified. Greeks, Italians and the French are for instance known for combining red wine and lamb while other European communities got accustomed to pairing salty Stilton cheese with sweet wine.

Today, wine and food matching has grown into a full fledged industry with many emerging wine experts. However, food and wine pairing can also be driven by individual culinary taste and preferences. There are various tips that you can use to develop fascinating wine pairing abilities and achieve the most out of your dining experience, irrespective of time or place.

Pay Attention to the Taste

First, separately establish the taste of the wine and that of the food you want to pair it with. Keep in mind that the cardinal rule of food and wine pairing is that the wine should be sweeter than the food. In cases where the food is sweeter than the wine, you are likely to experience tart or bitter taste. This is the reason you enjoy port wine more when served with desert or high tannin red wine matched with roast beef, pork or a vegetarian meal that is low on sugar.

Take Note of the Fat Element

Wines do not contain fats, making them suitable for pairing up with foods and dairy products that contain fat. It is nonetheless significant to match fat levels in meals such as meat with the wine's acidity content. You can achieve this by cutting the wine in tannin or enriching it using alcohol. The idea is to soften the fat and proteins as the wine's tannins dry up your mouth to prepare it for berries, fruits and forest flavors that may be available in the wine. This is why Cabernet wine varieties go down well with smoked beef or fish.

Check the Wine's Weight

Take the weight of the wine into consideration for you to improve your wine and food matching skills. Wine can either be light or heavy depending on its oak treatment. Pinot noir and Vinho Verde can for instance be made lighter or denser depending on your taste and preferences or whether you like light or heavy dishes. Serve or ask for heavy foods such as chicken and rice to be accompanied by light wine and light foods such as snacks to be paired with heavier wines.

Consider the Color of the Wine

Wine can be paired with food on the basis of color. Red wines such as Beaujolais and Carneros Pinot Noir are, for instance known to auger well with delicacies such as:

  • Mushrooms and wild rice.
  • Lamb shanks and Olives
  • Grilled salmon and olive butter

Rose wines such as Bandol Rose, Cotes de Provence and Spanish Rose can be paired with foods such as:

  • Tomato Salad
  • Tuna and Eggs
  • Bouillabaisse

If you enjoy white wines such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, California Sauvignon Blanc and Australian Chardonnay, you may consider pairing them with delicacies such as:

  • Chicken Tostadas
  • Vietnamese Steak Salad
  • Pork
  • Cucumber Soup

Why Engage in the Art of Food and Wine Pairing?

Food and wine pairing is an art that anyone can master provided that you practice regularly because it comes with various benefits. Nutritional significance is amongst the important factors as proper food and wine pairing improves appetite. This is because wine contains acids that step up your craving for food by triggering the salivary glands. Wine and food matching also makes cooking fun by allowing you to experiment with different delicacies. As a result of these you can make wine pairing a healthy hobby and improve your feeding habits in a manner that promotes your health and general well-being.

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