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Wine and Food Matching
Pairing food and Wine is considered as one of the most subjective as well as interesting Wine subjects. Some Wine lovers believe matching food and Wine should have a status of exact science and some other Wine lovers just can not care less and believe that the subject of food and Wine pairing is as useless as a fifth wheel. However, most would like to think that the food and Wine pairing subject is neither an exact science nor it is completely superfluous.

Every individual develops a unique gustatory sensation when a given food/Wine combination titillates his/her tounge. Taste is a subjective faculty and a certain food/Wine combination might resonate for one and might be absolutely dull for another. The key is to experiment with different foods and Wines and figure out for yourself what works best for you. However, there are some classic combinations that could be described as macthes made in heaven and there are also some combinations that are best to be avoided. Let's discuss both of them.

Classic Matches: Everyone's tried and trusted combination - "white Wine with white meat, red Wine with red meat" has stood the test of time and works fine for almost everyone. As a rule of thumb serve the same Wine used for cooking the food. Following are some fairly standard combinations:
  • Rost Lamb with Red Bordeaux or Rioja (full-bodied reds).
  • Roast Pork with Beaujolais or Southern Rhône if you prefer White.
  • Roast Beef with Red Burgundy or Beaujolais (low tannin reds).
  • Sea Food Pasta or Risotto with light- or medium-bodied White Wine (preferably Italian).
  • Meat based Pasta with light- or medium-bodied Red (preferably Italian).
  • Parma Ham with Pinot Grigio (light-bodied red).
  • Oysters, Lobsters, Shrimp or Sushi with Champagne
  • Desserts/Sweet dishes with Sweet Wines.
  • Stilton with Port
Combinations to be Avoided:
  • Eggs or Egg-based dishes with Reds.
  • Acidic foods (containing phenolic compounds) such as Yogurt, Tomatoes, Vinaigrette, Lemon/Lime with low tannin Wines.
  • Horseradish is better to be avoided with Wines.
  • Artichokes, Asparagus and Capers aren't good companions either.
  • Chocolate doesn't go well with Wines.
Very often, a classic combination originate from a certain region and it goes well only with the locally produced wine. Explore our country specific pages for more classic regional combinations. The basic principle to be kept in mind whilst selecting your food and Wine is that they should complement not compete with each other. One should not hamper the taste of other. And when in doubt this basic but powerful rule always comes handy - a light Wine for light food and a heavy Wine for heavy food. Bon Appétit!!

Updated: Thursday, Monday, May 28, 2007, 12:12 AM

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