Combining food and wine is a real art, and as every art it is controversial and has different schools of thought. There are, in fact, those who say that perfect matching is a completely subjective matter, while others claim that everyone should follow well-defined methods and rules. This is of course valid for the natural wines on sale on our e-commerce as well.
By doing just a quick search on the web, it won’t be difficult to find literally a myriad of articles, books, e-books treating and explaining the various rules that, if applied, will gift you that incredible tune of flavours that only the perfect balance between wine and food can give.
Luckily, there is a constant among all the different methods and schools of thought, and it is to start from the analysis of the features of both foods and wines: one needs to know well beforehand everything in the menu, dish for dish and taste for taste, and then decide on the characteristics of the wines that wants to put on the table.
Food and wine characteristics
Therefore, the basis for the perfect match is in the inner features of wines and foods: once you classify them, it will be easier to apply and study the rules of matching. The main features to consider are:
Once taken in consideration all these features that can be found in any edible good, we will be able to study the basic rules of matching between foods and wines, which are few and simple, and to begin experimenting with them until we reach the right compromise with our own personal taste.
The basic rules for matching wines and foods
As we have just said, basic rules follow the main features of foods and wines, so we can group them consequently.
It is a good rule to match the weight of a dish with that of a wine: a full-bodied wine will be perfect for a strong red meat dish, while lighter wines are better for lighter foods, such as poultry or chicken.
The weight rule also applies to the intensity of taste: it is good practice to combine intense flavoured foods with intense flavoured wines and vice versa. In this case, it is also great to take advantage of the common features of wines and foods: for instance, a fruity wine will be perfect for accompanying a plate with the same characteristics.
The general rule with salty foods is to enhance and balance them with a partially sweet wine; remember also that high tannin wines are a no-no, as salt exaggerates their bitterness, while acid wines are a perfect match.
Acidity is a perfect match with fatty foods, since it cuts the heaviness of the dish with its inner feature. Think about what lemon does to heavy or greasy food and match acid wines consequently.
Also, acid wines are good when combined with acidic dishes: especially in case of lemon or vinegary dishes, the perfect match is a higher acidity wine.
The big rule when talking about sweetness is: the wine should always be sweeter than the food we are eating. If the sweet wine is acid as well, it is also a good match with rich foods.
As we just said, avoid matching high tannin wines and salty foods; the perfect match for this kind of wine is with textured and fatty foods, since tannin will work well in our mouth, covering the fatty molecules and leaving it refreshed.
Ready to match your food and wine?
These are just some of the basic rules for matching food and wine: we will deepen the topic in the future, since it is really a discipline in itself.