Expert food and wine pairing advice

Wine Pairing
Sparkling Franciacorta is sensational when paired with salty bresaola.

Elizabeth and I have been busy planning a new online wine retail business that we’ll be launching later this year so I was psyched to see périphériquewine mentioned by Ray Isle, wine editor at Food & Wine magazine, in the July 2010 issue. Ray contacted me about a month ago and shared his concept for the article: He mocked-up up a wine list for “Restaurant Isle” a fictitional restaurant, a small place with a market-driven, New American menu featuring entrées in the $25 range. He then asked some of the top restaurant wine pros for a critique. Click here to read what my colleagues and I had to say about Ray’s list!

wine and cheese pairing
A perfect pairing if there ever was one: a picnic of Alsatian Gewurztraminer paired with a wheel of Munster cheese.

While clicking through some of Ray’s older stuff I discovered this excellent 2006 article on food and wine pairing and since that’s what WineToMatch is all about, I thought I’d share it with you here. Ray sums up nicely some of the most important things to remember when pairing food with wine:

Don’t match strong to delicate. Pairing a big, powerful, high-alcohol or high-tannin wine with a light, delicate dish (and vice versa) is rarely a good idea.

Acidity is your friend. People tend to be wary of wines described as “high acid,” like Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet. Who wants to drink acid, after all? But there’s no better quality in a wine for matching rich, creamy or cheesy sauces, deep-fried foods or fish dishes; in addition, tart wines go better with tart foods, such as a vinaigrette on a salad.

Tannins pair well with fat. That’s because the astringency of the tannins cuts through the viscosity of the fat.

Follow the don’t-upstage-the-star rule. If you have an amazing bottle of wine you want to show off, especially an older vintage (they tend to be more subtle, their flavors less flamboyant), don’t serve a wildly complex dish with it. A simple dish will allow the wine to be the center of attention.

grilled lamb
Hearty California red wines like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are ideal with grilled Lamb.

posted on June 15 2010 by jesse

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