Wine Selection and Food Pairing Tips

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine and foodAlthough, it really boils down to personal taste preferences but most wine experts, and even general wine drinkers for that matter, agree that there are some foods that are notoriously hard to pair with any kind of wine. You can try but will only be disappointed in the end.

Wine should blend perfectly with the food you serve. It can either accentuate the flavor of the food or the food can emphasize the wine. Or the combination itself creates a harmonious flavor that is unique for that pairing. Anything less would be a disaster waiting to happen.

To be on the save side, it is always ideal to avoid eating the following food with wine:

Salads that have vinaigrette dressing. Some would argue this fact but just try drinking wine with it and you’ll find that the acidity of the salad dressing dulls the taste of your wine. Although, you can get around this obstacle by eating bread before you sip your wine. Others tried pairing such salads with crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling.

Anchovies, whether on your pizza or salad can be a little tricky as well. Experts would tell you to try and pair anchovies pizza with Côte-du-Rhône red or Chianti. For Caesar salads with anchovies they recommend a  Sauvignon Blanc or a Viognier.

Meanwhile, searching a wine that would match artichokes is futile. No wine can really be a good pair for it since artichokes generally makes wine taste sweet. You could finish your artichokes first then clean your plate with bread just to down the flavor, afterwards drink you wine. Some, however, suggests preparing the artichokes with lots of garlic or spicy aioli to counter the sweetness and grill them instead to control the taste.

Asparagus is a vegetable that has a very strong flavor. It has been described as a number one killer of wine. Picking a wine to pair with it comes close to impossible. The trick, however, is to choose something that will not compete with the inherently strong taste of the vegetable. Wines paired with it will either taste vegetal, too greeny, or just weird.

Preparation of the vegetable is the key in this case. Steam the asparagus and then put it on a grill. This is a sure way to reduce the grassy flavor of asparagus which makes it tolerable to pair with Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Not too difficult but can turn out as bad if you don’t know what you’re doing is the pairing of wine and eggs. The culprit in this case is the egg yolk whose taste tends to remain on our palate. What you should do is remove or wash down first the taste of the egg on our palate by eating bread or cleansing with water before drinking  your wine. Both red and white, can work with eggs just as long as you have remove the yolk aftertaste.

Among the spices and flavors, mint and spicy are the worst kinds of ingredients that your food could possible have. The mint flavor can work if added to lamb in which case reds would be the best choice. For spicy food, red and whites can be paired but will depend on which kind of food was made spicy. Spicy noodles, however, might not have the right pair. Consider beer or juice for this one.