General Guidelines for Matching Wines with Food:
Rules Made To Be Broken
Like increases like – similar accents work well together.
- Peppery flavors work well with spicy red wines, fruity wines work well with fruit
sauces and green vegetables work well with grassy, herbal wines.
- Delicately flavored food is best accented by light and delicate wine. Robust
and complex flavors are best next to a big bodied, full flavor wine.
Balance the extremes – think in terms of balance that the wine can bring to the food or vice versa.
- Creamy, rich flavors need a tart, acidity wine to cut through the richness and prepare the palate
for the next creamy mouthful. - A bit of sweetness in the wine, especially as the final finish of the wine, balances salty or spicy foods nicely.
- High protein and fat content found in a rich cut of meat can moderate the strong tannins and
astringent flavor of some reds, especially a young red that would soften with more age in the bottle.
Mix and match – now disregard the first two guidelines and experiment.
- Trying a light, acidic young red with a rich fish like Salmon is surprising and attractive.
- Trying a rich, buttery Chardonnay with well-seasoned grill chicken has intrigue and even mystery.
- Full-bodied roses or lighter-bodied reds have the subtlety to not overwhelm delicate dishes, but can also have the substance to enhance a hearty steak.
Chez Paulette has been winning awards for her wine submitted to international amateur wine making competitions for over 10 years. She truly does practice the method outlined above - first, learn the rules then disregard them and experiment.