THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF FOOD & WINE PAIRING
Commandment 1 – MATCH QUALITY
When pairing wine and food, you must always take into account the quality of the wine and the quality of your dish. A complex dish made for special occasions deserves a complex and special wine. On the other hand; simple, everyday dishes match best with simple and easy to drink wines. Putting a simple wine with a special dish would be as unsuccessful as squeezing ketchup on to a Filet Mignon.
You must always attempt to match the relative quality of your wine to the quality of your dish. If you are going all out on a meal, with the highest quality ingredients turned into a dish possessing intensity and complexity; you owe it to yourself to find a wine that also fits the bill. If your food comes out of a box, well then, your wine probably should too.
Special Occasion Dishes with Special Occasion Wines
Everyday Dishes with Everyday Wines
Commandment 2 – MATCH POWER & WEIGHT
Imagine you are at the dinner table and served a dish of delicately seasoned scallop; along with a peppercorn encrusted, smoked venison chop. As you begin to eat, you take a bite of the scallop, a bite of the chop. A bite of the scallop, a bite of the chop… What will the outcome be? Very quickly, you will no longer taste the scallop. The same thing will happen if you pair a wine to a dish with the same inequality in power. If you pair a Cabernet Sauvignon with those scallops, all you would taste would be the power of the wine. If you pair a soft Riesling with the smoked venison chop, all you get is the smoky meat.
Always take the relative power and weight of a wine and dish into account when making a pairing. The whole point of food and wine pairing is to make both the food and the wine taste better. If you cannot taste one or the other, then you are defeating the purpose.
Heavy Dishes with Heavy Wines, Robust Dishes with Robust Wines
Light Dishes with Light Wines, Delicate Dishes with Delicate Wines