Food matching with wine is a tried and tested process carried out with the intention of enhancing the finer elements in both the food as well as wine. Both should blend together perfectly never letting one take over the other. Wine, an exotic beverage with a distinct tantalizing flavor has been the most preferred accompaniment with all kinds of cuisines since age old times.
The Wine growing regions often match their wines to their staple food. The perfect example is Italy which has a wealth of vineyards to its credit and rarely do Italians dine without wine. A lot of tomato based dishes spruced up with sauces in various flavours are usually paired with the typical Italian lean or often described as ‘tart’ wines that do wonders to any food lover’s palate.
Traditional Wine and Food Pairings
Down the years, while carrying out food matching with wines, the general practice has been to pair a full bodied red wine with red meats. Don’t miss the similarity in color. No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a serving of Classic ham served with the universally favored Pinot Noir. The same principle seems to have been adopted with fish which is normally white being paired with white wines like the Oaky Chardonnay. Who wouldn’t relish a pairing like a Loire Sauvignon with some delicate river fish!
Apart from these traditional pairings, it is also possible to match food and wine on the basis of certain herbs and ingredients used in both. In other words this refers to matching the ‘bridge ingredients like herbs used in the wine as well as the dish. An example for this is Cabernet Sauvignon which has the herb rosemary in it, usually paired with dishes containing the same.
Scope of Food Matching in Modern Times
Interest in food matching with appropriate wines has certainly increased in recent times. Numerous publications have been brought out on this subject. In fact hotels and restaurants employ staff (sommeliers) who are experienced in picking out and advising patrons on the best wines complimenting their specialties. It’s not unusual to find a comprehensive list of dishes that go best with a particular wine printed on the backside of its bottle. Irrespective of all this, it is left to each person to pick his own wine to match his favorite dish.
During the pairing process, you find that some wines are capable of making certain flavors in food more prominent or it could be visa versa. A complimentary blend of flavors is more desirable and easier to bring about though a sharp contrast does work wonders. Imagine bringing an extremely acidic wine called Sauvignon Blanc to a fish prepared in a creamy white sauce- believe it or not- the effect is stunning. Matching wines with multiple course Asian meals is indeed a lesson to be learnt. Rather than the primary ingredient used, it is the taste that should be considered in deciding the wine that will compliment it.