18 Oct Grape Tip Tuesday: Why You Should Pair Food And Wine?
This Week In Wine 101: Why You Should Pair Food And Wine?
When I was in my early to mid-twenties I used to drink wine by itself. No meal cheeses, breads or olives no meal or anything. I realized years later what I was missing. Not to mention, after traveling it became even more apparent why I should pair food and wine together.
I had to go back to my roots to figure that out. Visiting family abroad brought back the foodie in me. It was then that I realized practically all my friends from Argentina, Paraguay, France, Belgium, Israel, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Mexico all enjoyed wine with their food. In fact it was a staple for their meals – okay not for all of them; some enjoyed Ouzo, Vodka, Sambuca and Tequila but wine seemed to be the theme at lunch and dinner. Each one of my friends introduced me to different styles of cooking and wines to enjoy the meal with. Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was missing. So let me tell you why you should pair the food you make with the wine you buy or vice versa.
Pairings To Die For
Have you ever smelled something so divine you were sure it was made in heaven and when you took a bite, found it melted in your mouth, your tongue played with the textures and your palate absorb all the flavors – mesmerized by what you were experiencing you sipped your glass of wine and found the mixture of the food and wine only enhanced the flavors you were experiencing? And suddenly, you were transported to a whole new world of ecstasy in your mouth. You were now rendered speechless and all you could focus on was the food and wine and hoping the two would never come to an end.
This is the affect that wine and food can have on your senses when paired together. Wine is not only a solo spirit it is one that should be enjoyed socializing over a meal. Wine without food and food without wine can seem like a black and white painting or photograph. It is still beautiful and you can appreciate it on its own but when you combine the two, all of sudden there is color in the picture and dimensions that make your eyes widen, palate sing and sit upright and prepare for the next bite. Face it, wine and food were made for each other, at least this is how I feel.
Pairing Complex Wines
Sometimes, wines with strong undertones of tannins or acidity, aren’t easy to enjoy on their own. But when they are paired with certain foods or meals that are equal to their body-weight, the food and wine tend to accentuate the flavors in each other and have a different affect on the sampling or dining experience. Wine aficionados recommend pairing light-bodied wines with meals that are alike. The same goes for medium to full-bodied wines both in white and red varietals. The reason for this is to avoid one overpowering the other in taste. For example, you wouldn’t pair a full-bodied Malbec with clams or oysters. The flavors from the two are extremely different for starters and the weight is offset due to the lightness of the seafood versus the bold flavors of the Malbec. A Malbec might be better suited for a steak, brisket or even hamburger.
Exploring Wine & Food Pairings
If you’re looking to explore foods and wines that pair well together, start by selecting a wine first and go from there. It can sometimes be a little more difficult to find a wine that is within your budget and more importantly appeals to your senses. From there, you can find a wide range of foods, cuisines or meals to prepare and see how the two play off one another in your mouth.
To conclude, food and wine should be paired together because they bring out the best in each other. Enhancing the qualities and features is one main reason but sometimes wine can have flavors that are a little too overpowering and may require foods or meals to balance, lengthen or soften the flavors so they can be fully enjoyed. Pairing wines with foods that are similar in body-weight is also essential to bringing out the best in your dining experience. Start by selecting a wine that you like and build from there. Find meals and cuisines that will complement the wine and voila, you have a match! Join us next week the new reveal why the decanter is the most underrated wine tool and why you should be using it more. Thanks for visiting THEGRAPE.com. Cheers!