How to pair food and wine at meals in unique, well-balanced combinations
Choosing the right bottle of wine to enjoy with a meal is essential, not only to ensure that time spent at the table is pleasurable, but also to enhance the taste of the dishes served. Even for an evening with friends, we still recommend careful pairing of the wine with the food: a touch that will give the evening an unforgettable aura.
Here are some tips on food and wine pairings on the basis of concordance, seasonality, and contrast.
Pairing wine with food according to seasonality
The most classic pairing is based on the seasons: in winter, red, full-bodied wines are the ideal accompaniment to warm, more structured meat dishes. In hot summer temperatures, on the other hand, greater pleasure is to be gained from sipping cool whites or rosé wines.
Concordance and contrast between wine and food
Concordance between wine and food concerns intensity, persistence and structure of food. The wine chosen in this case must be commensurate to the structure of the dish because it will complement the pleasant sensations it offers. Its task? To enhance and balance the characteristics of the dish.
So for dishes with delicate flavours or steamed foods, we would opt for wines with restrained aromas, nothing too elaborate.
A balance of taste is also achieved by exploiting contrasts between the wine and the food. Wines with good acidity or effervescence will dissolve the fatty component of meats and sauces; savoury wines with perky acidity pair well with sweets and desserts.
By the same token, tart, bitterish or acidic sensations should be paired with soft wines. So the perfect pairing plays on contrasts, through which a balance of flavours is created between the ingredients and the wine.
Wine and dessert pairings
We are seized by panic when we have to choose which wine to pair with dessert. A sweet, aromatic wine is always the best match for classic cakes. If you have planned cakes and dry biscuits for the end of the meal, a fortified raisin wine is the best choice.