Tomorrow is our Holiday Wine Dinner with Michael Levine, and that got us thinking: do our customers know why and how we pair wine with food? Do they know what we take into consideration? We thought we’d give you a brief overview.
What It Means to Pair Wine and Food
Of course, the main objective of pairing wine with the correct foods is to enhance the dining experience. While it’s easy to think that a really good wine of any kind will go nicely with any really delicious food, there’s a bit more to it than that.
There are several reasons why people pair certain wines with certain foods:
- Taste AND Smell: Certain foods and certain drinks simply taste better together. There are aromatic qualities that complement one another. But wine is only half about taste; it’s also the scent and what that adds to your tasting experience. That may seem bunk, but swap your favorite wine for vinegar and you’ll understand completely. There’s quite a bit of science behind how these pairings work, involving different acids, tannins, sugars, and alcohols. We’ll get into further detail with those in a future blog article.
- Quality: You wouldn’t drink a Barq’s Rootbeer with a $150 steak. You wouldn’t pair a Cheval Blanc 1947 with Taco Bell. If you are hosting an event, you want the quality of your wine to match the quality of your food.
- Weight: The weight of the food should match the weight of the wine. You don’t want to take a very heavy food and pair it with a light wine. That will feel mismatched. A dark and heavy wine, likewise, should not pair with light and airy food. The texture should also be taken into account here.’
- Region: Many times, the best wine for a dish will be a wine that is native to the place where the dish is from. For instance, in France, they eat a lot of game birds like duck or quail. Pinot Noir is a good match for those.
- Personal taste: Many sommeliers will tell you that wine tasting comes down to personal taste and they’re right. If you don’t like Gewürztraminers, the most delicious salmon in the world is not going to fix that. When we throw our wine dinners, we can’t account for everyone’s personal tastes. But we can show you favorites that our previous customers love and we can talk about why they work so well together so you can take that knowledge with you and apply it at home to your own events.