An Easy Guide to Food and Wine

Somewhere along the way, the process of pairing food and wine became a complicated and potentially pretentious affair. It is about the fusion of flavors and the savoring of great tastes---isn't that enough?

red wine with grape
bottle of white wine

Pairing food and wine creates a union of tastes' that makes your special occasion come alive. Wines brighten your meals and adds a smart stylishness to your entertaining.

We've all heard it said, "Red wine with meat, white wine with fish." That's fine, except that most of us enjoy more then meat and fish and there is a great range of flavors and textures within the two.

It is perfectly correct to serve any wine that you long as you are serving wine! Just make sure the food is good and the wine is first-rate. Even if the match is not perfect, you will still enjoy what you are drinking.

The KISS Method of Matching Food and Wine

If you are not familiar with the distinguishing characteristics of a particular wine, look for descriptions on the bottle or in the wine shop. Don't hesitate to consult with knowledgeable personnel, generally present in local wine businesses and in some liquor stores. They are on hand to make the selection process much easier. And remember, there are no hard and fast rules here, just follow your instincts...and your tastebuds.

Wines may have distinguishable flavors of tobacco,cherry, smoke or grass. These flavors are not from actual ingredients in the wine, but are subtle flavor characteristics developed throughout the wine-making process

Fruitiness,acidity and sweetness

Fruitiness: goes beyond grape flavor and can include apple, blackberry, butterscotch, black pepper, tobacco, green grass, mint, almond and vanilla

Acidity: the crispness of a wine; it refreshes the palate after a bite of food. Whites are more acidic then reds

Sweetness: associated with the dryness of a wine. A dry wine is not a sweet wine.

Weight or the consistency of a wine on the tongue

This actually relates to alcohol content and is stated in percentages as marked on the label of the wine bottle.

"Light"wines such as Chablis have an alcohol content of 8-9%

"Medium"wines such as Merlot have an alcohol content of 10-12%

"Full-bodied"wines such as Bordeaux have an alcohol content of 14-17% and have the highest degree of tannins.

Tannins are present in grape skins and produce that fuzzy film feeling on your teeth

Food and Wine Pairing Chart


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