If wine culture is new to you, then finding the perfect wine for your dish will take some experimentation and experience over time. To get started, here are a few simple rules to point you in the right direction:
Consider all the primary characteristics of the food: the weight, flavour intensity, acidity, saltiness, bitterness and sweetness. Then find a wine that as closely as possible embodies those same characteristics.
If you’re planning to buy a bottle of wine that you have never before tasted, don’t let that hold you back. DAWINE has worked with winemakers and wine-tasting experts to offer their buyers an emotive and accurate description for each of their wines that will inform your selection and make the process straightforward.
DAWINE also offers an easy-to-use pictorial guide for food pairing suggestions. If you are planning a special pork meal, you could simply type‘pork’ into the DAWINE search box to see a selection of the wines best suited to pork dishes.
There is also the historical adage: ‘white wine with fish, red wine with meat’. This once strict rule emerged from the centuries-old relationship between a region's cuisine and their wines. The red wines of the Bordeaux, Greece, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rhone and Provence regions were classically paired with the lamb dishes of those regions.
This adage also rests on the principle of matching the body of the wine with the weight of the food. Meat was generally heavier and ‘red’ in colour, so it was assumed that a red wine paired better. Meanwhile, fish was generally light and ‘white’ in colour so it was often paired with white wine. While this food and wine matching rule still offers some good advice, it has become a somewhat outdated approach to matching. There are now a variety of ‘heavy’ white wines and lighter reds such as Pinot noir or Italian Merlots.
Beyond the basic guidelines listed above, food pairings can dive even deeper into matching layers of texture and flavours. With some experience, you could successfully start pairing wines with the complex flavours of a dish - whatever the 'main ingredient' may be.
In this, more technical, form of food and wine matching the flavour of the dish to be matched is determined by the cooking method, such as the toasty flavours of a stir fry; the sauce: from curries to sweet-and-sour; the use of seasonings; or the blending of ingredients to achieve new flavours.
As this modern art of food and wine matching evolves, so too are the guidelines that dictate what makes a good match – have fun and experiment to see what unexpected and pleasant matches you can discover.