An Essential Guide to the basics of Food and Wine Pairing

In essence, the fundamental principle of pairing food and wine is a balance. Matching the elements of the chosen food with the wine is crucial. I have devised a list of three predominant factors that govern the idea of a classic pairing to further enhance your dining experience.

Most often local cuisine from the region where the wine comes from are classic examples of pairing, for example, the wonderfully fragrant truffles of Perigord undoubtedly match the intensity of the exquisite Barolo & Barbaresco wines made from the Nebbiolo grape variety. The same goes for the natural ash preserved Goats milk cheese and fresh oysters of the Loire valley that pair ever so marvellously with the crisp tartness of the Sancerre made from the Sauvignon blanc grape. Therefore, it is evident that cuisine and wine are genetically predisposed to find each other in marriage due to their ethnicity and heritage of terroir.

I recommend a cream based pasta with a full body Chardonnay to balance the flavours of the vegetables, fresh cream with the tart pairs beautifully & the oak induced rounded mouth feel of the wine offsets the balance making it a rich wonderful.

In Indian cuisine, for a more robust flavour airng  we would recommend you try the Raan - braised leg of Lamb or Gucchi masala - Morrel mushrooms, paired with a soft tannin, fruit-forward merlot to balance the sweet spice elements that are highlighted in the wine.

3 fundamental Principals of Pairing:

Always match the immensity of the food and the density of the wine

Example: A rich, intensely flavoured Chateaubriand tenderloin will pair nicely with a full body wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blend from Bordeaux. 

Match astringent foods with wines that have the same intensity of acid.

Example: Although it is difficult to decipher the astringent quality of foods we eat, just pair wines of equal caliber in tartness to what you find sour on your palate. Choose to pair tomatoes, vinegar, citrus fruit, tamarind & pickles with acidic wines, this helps bring out the zesty, fruity notes of the wine.

Pair sweet foods, such as dessert, with wines that are equally as sweet.

The key to a beautiful sauterne is its refreshing balance of acidity that cleanses one's palate and highlights its luscious quality. This non-conflicting balance of flavour compliments the cloying sweetness of the dessert, unlike a dry wine, which when paired with sweet, tends to show off its acidity. Most of all what is important is that you enjoy the wine and food that are being paired are its optimal temperature.

Bon Appetit !

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