1. From the wine list, always feel comfortable selecting the wine that you enjoy the most, then choose menu items that you think would best pair with that wine.
2. Ask the server what the ingredients and spices are in each dish
a. Pairings can be complimentary (the food tastes like the wine) or contrasting (the food and wine has opposite flavors and textures).
b. Lighter foods pair best with lighter wine. Heavier foods pair best with heavier wine.
3. Be sensitive to ingredients that make the dish more wine friendly:
a. Salt can make tannic reds taste metallic.
b. Salt can make soft reds taste softer.
c. Semi-sweet wines mask salt.
d. Semi-sweet wines mask acid.
e. Sweet foods can make sweet wines taste sour (choose foods and desserts that are slightly less sweet than the wine).
f. Foods with spicy heat need low alcohol, fruitful wines-sweetness helps. Semi-sweet wines mask heat.
g. Acidic wines can cut through heavier food profiles and flavors.
4. The most food-friendly wines are those with low alcohol, balanced acidity, a touch of sweetness, delicate in flavor, and soft tannins.
Want to learn more? Join us at Harvest for our Food and Wine Pairing featuring Summertime Snacks!