Food and wine matching can be a terrific way of enhancing the flavours and enjoyment of both the food and wine – and with just a few simple guidelines, you can find your perfect match, or certainly have some fun trying.
Often billed as a complicated science, food and wine pairing is really fairly straightforward, there’s just a few simple rules to stick to.
Firstly, consider all the primary characteristics of the food: the weight, flavour (intensity and character), acidity, saltiness, bitterness and sweetness. Then do exactly the same thing for the wine.
The idea is to try and marry up these aspects as closely as possible. For example, rich mouth-filling foods like a steak or a casserole will balance the weight and texture of a full bodied Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or even an aged Chardonnay.
Then have a look at the component flavours in the dish; not simply the main food ingredient but the sauces, spices or cooking technique. For example, a seared barramundi with a dash of lemon would suit a fresh Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling with its zesty lemon, lime and citrus flavours; or for a steak with peppercorn sauce, try a big spicy Shiraz.
Here we’re not simply looking at the flavour, but the intensity of that main flavour as well.