A Guide to Great Wine Pairing
Writer George R.R. Martin once said: “Wine makes all things possible.” And very rightly so. It’s such a soothing feeling to sit in your drawing room and sip on a glass of wine, after a long tiring day at work. Some wine and a plate of good food are all you need to unwind.
To enjoy this experience, most of us concentrate on the kind of wine to be consumed, ignoring the kind of food accompanying our drink. However, wine experts reveal that food is as important as wine when it comes to relishing the moment. Pairing the right food with the right wine enhances the taste of wine.
There has been much talk about wine pairing, with specialised dinners organised to exhibit the expertise of chefs and bartenders. But how do you do it at home? How do you host that perfect dinner for your friends, where you serve the right combination of food and wine?
Here are a few rules to keep in mind if you want to earn a name as a great wine pairer.
Either Match or Contrast
When it comes to wine pairing, you can either match or contrast flavours. For example, you can match Chardonnay with salmon in cream sauce. The creaminess of the sauce and the freshness of the seafood goes great with Chardonnay. If you want contrast, you can serve Champagne with salmon in cream sauce. The crisp taste of Champagne will contrast with the creaminess of the sauce.
Choose the Right Flavour Profile
Choosing the right flavour profile is absolutely essential. Pairing a dry wine with a sweet dish can lead to the wine tasting extremely acidic. If you want to pair a wine with a sweetish dish, choose a wine with higher levels of sweetness.
Serve an acidic wine with salty dishes since the saltiness in the dish can make sweet wines taste bitter. Serve wines with low acidity levels with sour dishes. High acidity in food can make the wine taste flat.
Pair High-Fat Food with Rich Wines
High-fat dishes such as ones with lots of butter or cream taste good with rich wine. Pairing Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with lamb chops or beef steaks is a classic example of this. The tannins in the wine refresh the palate after every bite of the fatty dish.
Pay Attention to the Umami Ingredients
Umami is the fifth basic taste that makes food delicious to us. The term is highly used in the chef circle for ingredients such as soy sauce, red meats, Parmigiano cheese and other ingredients that enhance the taste of wine for us.
For example, lamb chops and Sauvignon taste nice together. However, topping the lamb chops with grilled mushrooms adds an extra oomph to the taste profile. While umami in a dish is supposed to intensify the taste of wine for you, using the wrong combination can destroy it too. It can make the wine taste bitter, less sweet, more acidic and drier.
Wine Pairing with Myanmar Local Food
As a country with distinctive food profiles and that produces indigenous varieties of wine, it is an interesting and fun task to match Myanmar’s food to wine. There are endless possibilities. Here are some tried and tested pairing options.
Chicken Biryani and Rioja or Grenache
Myanmar’s version of the world-famous chicken biryani is loaded with saffron, cloves and cinnamon, which go well with full-bodied ripe wines such as Grenache or Rioja. The richness of the food is rightly complemented by the oaky flavour of these wines.
Chicken Curry with White Wine
It is a known fact that white meat goes well with white wine. This holds true for Myanmar’s chicken curry. The spiciness of the food is well balanced by the freshness of wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. You can pair white wine with other white meat curries such as duck curry or fish curry.
Shan Fish Cake and Chenin Blanc
Shan fish cakes are usually sweet and smooth to taste. Hence, they need to be paired with a wine with high acidity and a fruity flavour – Chenin Blanc to be specific.
Intrigued to know more about wine pairing, especially with Myanmar’s dishes? Experienced chefs and bartenders will be present in the ASEAN Food Festival on 17th and 18th August in Mandalay to demonstrate more ideas and share their wisdom with you.
Sign up for our newsletter to know more about the event. The weekend is going to be an action-packed one.