3 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairings

Synergy is the ultimate objective when it comes to pairing wine with food. The idea is to create a totally new and superior gastronomic effect. On the flip side — a poor wine pairing can destroy the flavour of the wine and lessen the overall dining experience. It’s important to remember that wine should always compliment the food and not dominate it.

Today we shares a few simple guidelines to help you make successful wine-and-food pairings.

1. Drink and Eat What You Like

Choose a wine that you would want to drink by itself, rather than hoping a food match will improve a wine made in a style you don’t like. That way, even if the pairing isn’t perfect, you will still enjoy what you’re drinking.

2. Look for Balance

Consider the weight—or body, or richness—of both the food and the wine. The wine and the dish should be equal partners, with neither overwhelming the other. If you balance the two by weight, you raise the odds dramatically that the pairing will succeed. This is the secret behind many classic wine-and-food matches.

3. Match the Wine to the Most Prominent Element in the Dish

This is critical to fine-tuning wine pairings. Identify the dominant character; more often it is the sauce, seasonings or cooking method, rather than the main ingredient. Consider two different chicken dishes: Chicken Marsala, with its browned surface and a sauce of dark wine and mushrooms, versus a chicken breast poached in a creamy lemon sauce. The caramelized, earthy flavors of the former tilt it toward a soft, supple red, while the simplicity and citrus flavors of the latter call for a fresh white.