The absolute basic rule of pairing:
White meat with white wine. Red meat with red wine.
However, how about oyster, salmon, duck with a really rich sauce? To achieve the best match, it is necessary to analyze the basic components in both the wine and the food. Some red wines can pair beautifully with chicken. The principle is to try to balance these, so that neither the food nor the wine overpowers the other. These are fundamental guideline.
- Match the weight/richness of the food the body of the wine.
- Match the flavour intensity of the food the flavour intensity of the wine.
- Match acidic foods the high-acid wines.
- Avoid combining oily or very salty food with high-tannin red wines.
These will help avoid wine and food clashes or overpowering. The following help rules will help you enhance each other:
- Pair "chewy" meat with tannic wines
- Pair salty food with sweet or high acid wines
- Pair fatty and oily food with high-acid wines
- Match or contrast flavours characteristics of the food and the wine
See the pattern?