It’s been said, “wine makes a symphony of a good meal.” The relationship between food and wine is inescapable, and that link has given me the opportunity to meet with Chefs and food artisans, and to visit markets, farms and restaurants across America and beyond. “Dining” shares some of these gastronomic and wine experiences with you.

Wine and Food Matches

The most important “rule” for matching food and wine is to eat and drink what you like! As a guideline to pairing, here are just a few notes to add to your dining enjoyment.

Sweetness in food cancels the “fruit” and/or any residual sugar in wines, making them taste drier than they are. Sweet dishes call for wines of at least equal sweetness.

Salty or briny foods also affect the “fruit” in wines. Salty dishes call for aromatic wines with high acidity, some sweetness, low tannins, and/or intense fruitiness.

Tart foods can diminish some of a wine’s fruitiness. Serve them with lightly sweet, very fruity, and/or full bodied white wines. In some cases, tart or crisp wines will also work well.

Spicy/hot foods lessen some of a wine’s fruitiness too. Serve them with lightly sweet, very fruity, low tannin, and/or crisp wines. Stay away from higher alcohol, tannic red, and/or oaky wines.

Rich dishes can be too intense for delicately flavored, lighter bodied wines. Serve with full flavored, full bodied, higher acid wines.

Fish and game can overshadow mildly flavored, medium bodied, dry wines. Try these with very fruity, full bodied, high acid, and/or medium sweet wines.

Smoked foods overpower all but the fruitiest, richest wines. Low tannin, extremely rich, and/or moderately sweet wines work best.

Cheese and wine make a classic pairing. Match the ‘weight’ of the cheese to the wine, or vice versa. For a special after dinner treat, try contrasting a rich, salty cheese with a dessert wine.

Eat, drink and be merry!

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