In our beloved country where you can get any type of cuisines under the sky, pairing the right wine with the right food seems like a maze to some. That’s why a handful would rather stay put with the tried-and-tested, won’t-go-wrong ─ White Wine with White Meat and Red Wine with Red Meat adage
Guess what? This well-known principle may be too vague and may not always be true.
There are two main reasons for this. No.1 is due to the fact that wine nowadays especially new
world wines (eg. Australia, Chile and New Zealand) are made to be all-round food-friendly hence there is really nothing wrong matching white meat to red wines.
As for No.2, Where would the fun be if you are always having either merlot or chardonnay?
So, how shall we go about it?
Match the Country’s Food with the Country’s Wine
For a start, if you are having cuisine of a country which produces
wines, match the food back with the country’s wine. For instance, Pizza with a Prosecco; a very nice quesadillas with a tempranillo or mussels with Sauvignon Blanc. This fundamental works because throughout the years, these local dishes had been matched with local wines to a great extent. Think of it as the trial and error of wine tasting had been done for you.
In the event that you are unable to have wine of the same origin with your food, your next best bet would be to pair according to:
Weight ─ If your dish is a light dish, match it with a light white or light red
Acidity ─ If the food you are having is oily and fatty, pair it with wines with high acidity as this would help to cut through the oil
Sweetness ─ Always pair with wines with similar sweetness or sweeter especially with desserts
I personally like to pair food with wines using the contrast principle eg. high acidity wines with creamy as I have found it works best for my taste but you can also try complimentary principle.
The rule of thumb of wine pairing is to remember, a good pairing would enhance the food you are having and not the other way round.
In addition, you would need to have a basic knowledge of what to expect of the wine and food taste like which on a lot of occasion would mean that you need to try the wines with the food. But then, trust me. Every new trial is a new journey.
Trina is the founder of Wine Tasting Malaysia, an online based wine enthusiast group with weekly wine tasting events all around the Klang Valley. Often found with a wine glass in her hand, she truly believes life is so much more WINEderful with wines. She is currently on a quest to gather 1000 wine enthusiasts in Malaysia. Be part of her quest by joining Wine Tasting Malaysia via Wine Tasting Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) ─ Meetup or Facebook’s winetastingmalaysia. She calls Subang Jaya her home and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org