Editor’s note: This excerpt is from Just Somm Chef — a blog put together by Jeep Apel, a chef and sommelier based out of North Carolina who has been a manager at the wine bar at the Biltmore among other things. We will post excerpts weekly and you can click the links to see the rest of his work. Lots of good stuff here for foodies and wine folks as the blog takes off.
Concepts in Food and Wine Pairing
Wine is a food accompaniment. In a good pairing, the food will taste better and the wine will taste better.
There are two mains approaches to pairing food and wine. Either compliment flavors that exist in both components, or contrast with opposite flavors.
Examples of complimenting:
- Earthy mushroom dish, pair it with an earthy pinot noir (go European)
- The smoky and peppery nature of Syrah make it a great pairing for bacon
- Goat cheese with high acid, drink sauvignon blanc with high acid
- Chicken Piccata with lemon sauce pairs with pinot grigio or unoaked chardonnay because of the citrus notes in the wine
Examples of contrasting flavors:
- Salty food, sweet wine (opposites attract). Blue Cheese with port is a classic pairing.
- Rich fatty food with bright wine (heavy and light textures). Riesling with bratwurst.
Another way to think about contrasting is to imagine the food has a missing flavor that the wine adds. Fish is often eaten with lemon juice squeezed over the top. You can pair fish, which has no natural lemon flavor, with a white wine that has a citrus flavor and aroma.
See the rest here, at Just Somm Chef.