Today I am going to deal with an exciting and controversial topic, the pairing of wine with different types of food.
Talking about pairing is a somewhat delicate topic because we are talking about personal tastes and it is well known that we are all sovereign of our own. That always involves some controversy.
But we have to be aware that this is a game and as such we have to see it, because experimenting and making mistakes, deep down, is something fun.
So from here I encourage you to try and get some surprises. Some could end up being a bit unpleasant for you but… we have come to play, right?
Another question that comes to mind when I’m going to cook for my family is whether I prioritize the choice of food based on the wine we’re going to drink or vice versa.
In my case, I prefer to choose the wine based on the food because it is easier to keep the memory of what you eat than that of a wine that you may not yet know.
And for this, there are apps that can give us more than valid guidance on what we can find when we open the bottle we have chosen. One of them is VIVINO.
Common guidelines in all pairings
One of the keys that we have to look for in a pairing is balance, being able to bring us pleasant surprises on occasion because we may find that balance where we least thought it could be.
For example, a powerful red wine with a lot of structure and high alcohol content will, in general, have the balance in a high-protein and high-fat meal.
Acid wines (whites not fermented in barrels, rosés and some normally young reds) tend to find that balance in light but fatty meals, such as spaghetti carbonara (no cream please) or oily fish.
With sweet wines we have perhaps the most extensive palette of combinations in the world of pairing, since they can be paired (as I said before, this is not a dogma) both with a dessert (vegans please do not read this) or with foie, ham, pure dark chocolate….
Vegetables and legumes
These are examples of what we can find in a pairing, but within that range of possibilities that these two extremes offer us are, for example, vegetables.
Except for the artichoke, which I have not yet found a wine to pair with, the others are all candidates for a perfect pairing.
It is well known that vegetables are not characterized precisely by having very powerful flavors, unless we add more protein products and stronger flavors.
In this case, the balance would be found in light-bodied, aromatic wines with mild acidity so that they do not mask the delicate flavor of the vegetables.
Here it could be worth both a young fruity red and a dry white with medium acidity, as well as a rosé that was not from powerful varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, to give two examples.
As for legumes, their high protein content makes them good candidates for pairing with more powerful wines, both red and barrel-fermented whites.
Of course, its protein is not as intense as animal protein, which must be taken into account to find the balance that I mentioned before.
Of course, if we add sausages and fine offal to these legumes, the result translates into a higher protein load. So to find that balance we will have to go to more powerful wines both in structure and in alcoholic strength (concepts that normally go hand in hand).
And now that vegan food is more in vogue every day and these legumes can be accompanied by some delicious vegetables, then what I have been exposing you before makes all the sense.
And then there are the surprises
Because you can find paradoxical pairings. Those that no matter how much you imagine, you do not see that they can fit until you try them, like the ceviche that I made to illustrate this article.
Well, and finally I have minimalism. A glass of good wine, some music that you like, the chosen company and something to snack on. It takes very little to approach that chimera they call happiness.
And with all this, what I want is to encourage you to try things that, although at first it may not seem like they could make much sense, maybe they do. Without prejudice, try and experiment. Let experience tell you yes or no. And if not, nothing happens, we have come to play!
If you want to try our wines and dare to pair them, you can do so here: CONZIETO ONLINE STORE