The Wine Blog

Wine Pairings

May 19, 2009

We are asked occasionally when we’ll offer a wine pairings guide. To date, we’ve tried hard to focus on the single use-case “remember what I’m drinking right now”. Of course, other compelling use-cases have naturally extended from there, such as researching wine and reading reviews, sharing, and buying wine. But at the core, Drync Wine is about remembering what you drank. That’s not saying we won’t expand in the future, but that’s where we started and exist right now.

That said, I came across a nice website today from one of our Twitter followers (@wineforeveryone) containing useful rules of thumb for wine pairings…

  1. There are no rules to pairing food and wine, only guidelines.
  2. Balance the weight of the food and wine, one should not over power the other. A hearty wine like a Syrah will over power a delicate dish such as chicken with mushrooms. However, a lighter style of red wine like Pinot Noir (Burgundy if you’re buying French) would be a great choice as the earthy characteristics will compliment the mushrooms. Take the flip side of this, a creamy Alfredo sauce will over power a lighter Pinot Grigio, however a full-bodied, aged in oak Chardonnay, which is often described as buttery would make a great match.
  3. Match geographic location. Food and wine from the same region often times share the same characteristics. Wine and beef will have similar characteristics if the grapes are grown in the same ground and soil type as the grass the cow ate. There is an old saying that sums this up, “What grows together, goes together”.
  4. When choosing a wine, consider the strongest component of the food dish first, and then consider the base ingredients. In other words, if you are serving lemon chicken, focus on pairing a wine with the lemon first, then pairing the wine to the chicken.
  5. Foods high in protein help offset highly tannic wines.
  6. When serving multiple bottles of wine serve: a) dry wine before sweet wine (the same reason desserts are sweet and served last), and b) light wine before heavy wine (a light wine will often times seem tasteless if served after a heavy wine).
  7. Opposites attract (sometimes). This is a much more difficult way of pairing food and wine. For example, Asian food typically goes well with Riesling or Gewürztraminer, however don’t be afraid to try it with a Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. You never know what will make your taste buds sing and dance.

Above we mentioned there were no rules to pairing food and wine, we lied, this is our only rule: follow your tastes and have fun!

Thanks to Josh Lipson for this great reminder.