It does not have to be a chore to learn about food wine. Although, there is a lot of different information out there about wine, it should not overwhelm the beginner. There are some basic rules that can be followed to make your food and wine experience an easy one. So read on to become familiar with the methods used to choose food-wine combinations.
First of all, the old, traditional rule that white wine goes with fish and poultry and red wine goes with red meats is still a good rule to follow. The basic rule for food wine is that the tastes of the food and wine should react well with each other. Each bite of food should cover any taste of wine and any taste of wine should cover the taste of the food. Drinking wine with food is designed to be more of a palate cleanser, so that each bite of food tastes as good as the first and it is the same for the wine. You will know that a wine is a bad match for the food if you can taste the one or the other, over the other item. Of course, with so many different styles of foods mixed together in one dish, it makes it harder to pair wine to food. Another good rule to follow when trying to match foods and wines is to pair heavier wines with heavier dishes.
The main determination for food wine combinations is the balance of sweetness, acidity and bitterness of both the food and wine. It is pretty easy to figure out what wine should go with what foods by considering the wine and food characteristics. If a sweet food is being served, pair it with a sweeter wine. For bitter foods, a more bitter wine is in order. The best way to determine the acidity of a food is to determine if it would go better with more acid added. For example, adding lemon to a fish means that a more acidic wine should be consumed. Some common white wines that are acidic are: Rieslings, most sparkling wines and white Bordeauxs. Acidic red wines include: Gamays, Pinot Noirs and Sangioveses. Sweet white wines include: White Zinfandels, other forms of Rieslings and Chenin Blancs. Sweet red wines can include: Port and Lambrusco. There are not many bitter white wines, but there are some bitter red wines. These can include, red Zinfandels, Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons.
So there you have it, an overview about the very basic elements to food wine parings and how to determine which wines should be paired with what foods. The world of wine is very broad, but these simple rules can definitely help keep newcomers to the world of wine on the right track. If you are interested in learning more, then join a wine club or check out some books that cover the subject. You will be glad you did.
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