Which wine goes with which food
A very common question that can’t be answered unequivocally, as there is an endless variety of wines, foods and people. Rather, this question should tempt us to try out new combinations and variations and to let our own tastes guide us. Nevertheless, it is advisable not to completely disregard the basic principles.
The wine should only play second fiddle
The right wine will complement a dish, not overpower it. The aroma of the food should be emphasized. The right choice of wine is therefore not entirely unimportant. For that, it’s helpful to know that:
- Alcohol enhances the impression of sweetness
- Strongly spiced dishes taste even stronger in combination with wines rich in alcohol
- carbonic acid in wines such as sparkling wine alleviates the sensation of sweetness
- salt increases the perception of bitter substances in wines and dishes
There are no strict guidelines
Which wine goes with which food? Not everything harmonizes, but there are no strict guidelines when it comes to choosing wines to go with certain dishes. Nevertheless, there are many empirical values that can be drawn upon if necessary. Some combinations harmonize excellently with each other due to sensory properties, whereas others should not be combined from a chemical point of view.
A very sweet dessert usually calls for an equally sweet wine. Because a dry, acidic wine would act unbearably sour. Likewise, avoid pairing highly tannic red wines with cheese or fish. This is because the protein is broken down by the tannin, creating a metallic aftertaste.
A very good tip from the wine connoisseur’s drawer is, if you are unsure of which wine to choose, consider the origin of your food. Based on the region the dish comes from, choose a wine from the same area. You won’t go wrong with that. Because food and wine have been matched for centuries. It is no coincidence that mildly acidic, less tannic red wines from Piedmont or Tuscany go well with Italian pasta such as pasta or ravioli. Recommendations for this are the Dolcetto, the Barbera or the Chianti Classico.
Further recommendations can be found below:
- Grilled fish: dry white wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
- Beef roast: Cape Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir…
- Veal: light red wine
- Pork: dry white wine, fruity red wine
- Steak: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz
- Vegetables: Sauvignon Blanc
- Seafood: dry sparkling wine
- Mushrooms: Pinot Noir – but not with creamy sauces
- Fruits (except Cirtrus fruits): dry sparkling wine, sweet sparkling wine, Beerenauslese, sweet Spätlese, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
The somewhat different way
Of course, there are slightly more unusual, other ways of approaching the perfect wine with a dish: Choose the contrast. Spicy Asian cuisine, for example, harmonizes wonderfully with fine tart Rieslings. Or be experimental and find out why oysters work so perfectly with Chablis.
Nevertheless, it is primarily a matter of your taste preferences as far as the combination of food and wine is concerned. Any explanation or tip should serve as mere inspiration. It is a direction, not a final truth. Because what your heart desires is to be drunk and eaten. According to the motto: What tastes good is allowed.
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