Tim Hong: Hi! I am Tim Hong, Certified Sommelier with Total Wine & More, here to talk about the basics of paring food and wine. Whether you are enjoying a glass with dinner or serving wine at a dinner party following some basic guidelines with helping enhance and maximize the enjoyment of both food and the wine. Number one, start with a regional pairing. If possible match the food with the wine from the same area. Think pasta with red sauce and a Sangiovese, there is wisdom in following the long standing traditions of what people drank with her food. Number two, pair acidity with acidity. Wines that are lower in acids such as a warm climate Chardonnay will taste flat when paired with acidic foods. A high acid wine such as New Zealands Sauvignon Blanc will pair well with a high acid dish such as a fresh garden salad.
Number three, pair salty with sweet. This combination of flavors is already common in many foods, such as chocolate covered pretzels or peanut butter cups. Try pairing a salty blue cheese with a Poured or Sauternes. Number four, pair fat with tannins. Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon is consider a classic pairing because of proteins and fat in the meat to softened the tannins in the wine, making this combination harmonious.
Number five, pair fat with acidity, with the same reason you would squeeze some lemon juice on to smoked salmon a high acid wine can cut through the fat of the dish. Next time you devilled eggs, try it with the glass of champagne.
Number six, pair sweet foods with sweeter wines. When pairing wine with desserts choose one that is sweeter than the dessert. If the dessert is sweeter than the wine, the wine feel down. Try and angles food cake with a Moscato d'Asti. Though this may not be an exact science, following these suggestions will help you find the right wine for your meal. Soon you will be pairing food and wine like a sommelier. Cheers!