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Food and Wine Pairing

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Food and wine pairing is all about creating combinations that complement and enhance each other - your choice of wine should make your food taste better, and your food should make your wine taste better. Understanding the basics of food and wine pairing will help you appreciate why certain pairings work so well while others don't, and will give you the building blocks to create your own wine pairings.

Food and Wine Pairing


Our Approach to Food and Wine Pairing

We want our dishes to be accessible yet interesting enough for both the home cook that might be just starting to learn about cooking and wine pairing, and also for the empassioned wine and food enthusiast. Each of our recipes is built around ingredients that you can find at any quality food store, and maximizes flavor while minimizing cooking and prep time. Each recipe is paired with two wines, with one less expensive "Steal" wine available nationally, and one pricier but very special "Splurge" wine that may take more of a hunt to source. We think wine pairing should be as easy or as complex as you want it to be!

Food and Wine Pairing Consideration #1 - Acidity

We believe the first thing you should take into mind when pairing food with wine is Acidity. Most food-friendly wines have enough acidity to cleanse your palate and stand up against the flavors in your dish. Typically, white wines have more acidity because white wine grapes are harvested early in the ripening process while sugars are a little lower and acids still high, while red wines have lower acidity because they are harvested later in the season. White wines are ideal for dishes that have a lot of acidity such as citrus-marinated poultry or seafood, and also dishes with butter or cream-based sauces that really need something to cut into those fats. Red wines should still have enough acidity to offset rich foods such as a finely marbled steak. Dishes with less richness or acidity of their own can pair with softer, riper wines.

Food and Wine Pairing Consideration #2 - Body

The second thing to consider when pairing food with wine is Body. Body is partially a result of alcohol level - a higher alcohol wine will taste fuller - and is also a characteristic of the grape variety the wine is made from or the quality of the wine. If the dish you are pairing a wine with is light and delicate, choose a wine that has a light body as well so that the wine doesn't overwhelm the food. A basic guideline of white and red wines by body:

White Wines by Body

 Light

Medium

Full

Albarino
Pinot Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc

Pinot Gris/Grigio
Riesling
Gewurtzraminer

Chardonnay
Marsanne
Rousanne

Red Wines by Body

Light

Medium

Full

Gamay (Beaujolais)
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese

Zinfandel
Merlot
Grenache

Cabernet Sauvignon
Syrah
Nebbiolo

Food and Wine Pairing Consideration #3 - Flavor

The final key consideration is Flavor. Does your dish have red currants or red berries? Find a wine that echoes those fruit flavors and it's hard to go wrong. Perhaps your dish uses grapefruit zest or a bit of lemon juice? That citrusey Sauvignon Blanc is going to go great with it. Surprisingly you might think - flavor is really the third consideration. Acidity and body are definitely the 'structural' building blocks to creating a great food and wine pairing, and flavor is the icing on the cake. Find a way to hit on all three points, and you will have happy pairings :). Enjoy!

 


 


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