Ideas for food and wine pairing notwithstanding, in existence are six basic ways to choose a right combination. They are:
- Fat. as pertinent to food
- Acid, as pertinent to wine
- Salt, as pertinent to food
- Sweetness, as pertinent to wine
- Bitterness, as pertinent to food
- Texture, as pertinent to wine
This lesson explored the relationship between food, fat, and texture.
Texture was first. Lightness or heaviness of wine makes a good determinant of appropriate food choice. Lighter wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc pair best with light foods like lightly dressed salads, while Kabinett Rieslings excel opposite salty Bratwurst. Meanwhile, full-flavored, occasionally tannic reds like Cabernet Sauvignon – and white wines like certain full-bodied Chardonnays – excel when paired with heavier foods. Consider a medium-rare filet opposite a tannic Cabernet Sauvignon or fried chicken with a buttery California Chardonnay. Because of interplay between these elements, more flavors are revealed in menu item and beverage choice.
Next, the idea of fat content and its part with wine pairing. Wine is naturally a fat-free product, while certain meats and dairy are rich with fats that counterbalance acidity and soften tannin. This influence decreased, it opens the palate to taste the drink’s fruitier elements.
The wine poured following the lesson was Allegrini’s Sondraia, a Super Tuscan of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. Revealing characteristic qualities of blackberry, cassis, mocha, and baking spice, it exemplified wine’s part when paired with medium-rare filet. For, as theorized, when sipped after a bite of steak, the wine’s tannin level noticeably softened while creamier elements of the meat were exposed too.