It’s common to run across information about wine and food pairing with well-known wines from California or Europe, but nothing about pairing Iowa wine with local food.
Wine and food pairing follow the same principles regardless if you’re in Des Moines or in Paris. Traditionally food has been paired with wine produced in the same region where growing conditions are similar. So where does one begin finding unique flavors yet to be discovered?
Discover the secrets of wine and food pairing
Most everyone that enjoys wine has heard the adage that red wine goes with meat and white wine goes with fish and poultry. But is that all there is to it? I’m not an expert by any means, but I have an interest in the complexity of tastes and why one wine just tastes better if served with certain foods. Although we innately know when wine and food taste good together, are there certain guidelines that may predict a successful pairing?
A well-matched pairing depends on many components such as smell, taste, weight, texture and even temperature of the pair. Smell is important in detecting flavors which is why wine should be swirled around in a glass to release aromas. A sense of flavor is a result of a process that occurs when aromas are picked up through the back of the mouth and then flow into the nasal cavity. Taste is a product of taste buds on the tongue which can detect sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (meaty). Weight/mouthfeel of the wine and texture/temperature of food should also be considered. You probably wouldn’t want to pair a light salad with a heavy red wine, but that same wine would complement bites of dark chocolate in a wonderful way. Hot and spicy pizza could be a contrasting treat with a chilled wine made from Edelweiss grapes.
How to get first-hand experience
This is a topic I’ll be writing more about but to really capture the synergy of pairings you’ll want have a first-hand experience. Contact us for a wine and food pairing for you or your group.
Joann Schissel, Wine, art and story lover
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