Delicious food paired with wine is a perfect way to delight your evening and taste buds. For most, food and wine pairing is an art. It involves a combination of complementary flavors, which help improve the dining experience to enjoy every bit of it.
Mostly, it is not all about food and wine pairing. Rather is about maximizing the value of components to improve your overall experience. According to experts at Milkwalky Trace, this ideology is also used to put together wine and food pairing menus for occasions.
Basic Components in Food and Wine
Simplify dishes down to their basic dominant tastes. For instance, a baked macaroni has two major components: salt and fat. Southern BBQs are complex and often include spice, sweetness, salt, fat, and a little acidity.
You can also simplify dishes without meat. For instance, green salads offer bitterness and acidity, while creamed corns provide sweetness and fatness.
As for wine, it lacks three major tastes of saltiness, spiciness, and fatness but contains varying degrees of bitterness, sweetness, and acidity. In general, you may group wines into three major categories, including:
- Sweet wines with more sweetness
- Sparking, rose, and white wines with more acidity
- Red wines with more bitterness
There are two ways to approach food and wine pairing. These ways include congruent and complementary pairings. The food and wine pairings share several flavors or compounds in congruent pairings. An example is a red wine combined with a buttery pasta dish or a sweet wine taken with sweet dishes. The most important tip when creating a congruent pairing is to ensure your food’s flavors don’t overwhelm your wine.
As for complementary pairing, the combination consists of food and wine that don’t share flavors. Instead, they complement one another. Normally, the compounds in each are perfectly balanced by contrasting elements. Sparkling, red, and white wines make perfect options for complementary pairings. The sweet white wines paired with spicy dishes allow sugar in your wine to balance and cool down the spiciness in the food.
How to Match Food with Wine
How can you achieve congruent or complementary pairings? All it takes is time and a little thought. For each, you must consider the flavor profiles of the food you want to serve. But then again, this can sound complex.
Flavors, in general, are split into five categories, including acidity & umami, bitterness, sweetness, spiciness, and saltiness. All you should do is think of those that applies to your dishes.
Take macaroni cheese as an example. Here, you can break the flavors into two: umami and saltiness. In order to create a contrasting pairing, you will have to improve the creamy richness of your food. You can pair your dish with creamy white wines, such as Chardonnay.
The best part about wine and food pairing is that you can try new combinations to see what works for you. Step out of your comfort zone and consider trying something new. You will be surprised at how everything unfolds itself.