Food & Wine Pairing Made Simple; Part 3



Our sense of taste is a very interesting thing, indeed. Flavors on the palate change the perceptions of flavors that follow them in a dramatic fashion, and can make or break a food and wine pairing. One experience with the way flavors work together that everyone can understand is what happens when you brush your teeth and then make the mistake of drinking orange juice. Yuck! The sweetness of the toothpaste actually changes the perception of how we taste the orange juice, effectively stripping it of any sweetness. By understanding how flavors work together, you can feel confidant choosing certain wines for certain foods.


In its simplest terms, salty and sour flavors bring out the positive characteristics and flavors of a food or wine. Bitter, sweet, and savory flavors bring out the negative characteristics and flavors. Chefs understand this, and it explains why almost all sauces are either salty or sour. We season with salt and squeeze lemon on a vast assortment of different foods. There is a reason that they serve salty cheeses at a wine tasting – they are trying to sell wine!


Use these changes in perception to your advantage. To make wines taste better, pair them with foods that have salty or sour flavors. To make foods better, wines that are high in acidity and sour flavors work best.


Salty and Sour Flavors Bring Out the Positive Characteristics of Flavor

Sweet, Bitter and Savory Flavors Bring out the Negative Characteristics of Flavor



Commandment 6 – THINK LOCALLY


Wine has been around for thousands of years; and throughout most of its history, people were not as mobile as they are today. If you were born in Tuscany a hundred years ago; then most likely you would live your life in Tuscany, and die in Tuscany. You lived your entire life eating the foods of Tuscany and drinking the wines of Tuscany. Common sense dictates that the wines and foods of a region pair together well. Just because we live in a time when you can jump on a computer, book a ticket to Paris, and be in Europe tomorrow; does not mean that we should forget about the roots of wine and food. If you are serving a regional dish, pair it with a wine from that region. They were both made to go together.


Pair Regional Wines with Regional Dishes










Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: