How To Pair Like A Pro!

Written by: Amanda McCabe
22 Nov

Food and wine matching can be daunting – with its alleged rules, rule-breaking, protocol and preconceptions!

To help you with your next pairing, our experts have put together this handy guide to remembering the most important elements of matching....

Wine is incredibly subjective so if you enjoy a kooky pairing then go with it!  And if you have a less enjoyable match, learn from it and onto the next bottle.

What grows together goes together – never a truer statement and one that will always help you make a choice. Think Marlborough Pinot Noir and NZ lamb, shellfish and albariño, pecorino and er…pecorino!

Match weight with weight. Serve dry, light-bodied, or low alcohol wines with light dishes (raw/fresh, crunchy, low fat, and high acid). Serve full-bodied, ripe, high alcohol, creamy-textured wines with heavy foods (including foods that contain a lot of dairy, animal fat or protein).

Serve high acid wines with high acid foods. For example, serve a dry Riesling, or juicy Sangiovese with salads dressed with vinaigrette, goat’s cheese, tomato-based dishes, and such.

Avoid tannic wines with fatty/oily fish. For example, avoid a big, chewy Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec with mackerel, black cod, salmon, or any other fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The high iron content produces an unpleasant fishy aftertaste.

Soften aggressive tannic wines with salty, fatty, protein-rich foods. They soften the astringency sensation (“mouth puckering”) as you chew and release the protein…

Serve salty foods with high acid wines. For example, serve Gamay (such as Beaujolais) or Barbera from Northern Italy with cured meats, or Italian Pinot Grigio with anything containing soy sauce.

Serve off-dry or sweet wines with slightly sweet or sweet foods. Remember: The wine should always be as sweet or sweeter than what’s on the plate.

We’re mad on matching here at Macknade with constant inspiration around us so do ask if you need help or someone to bounce ideas off!