Wine and Food Pairing

Quick tips: simplifying food and wine pairing

20 Mar, 2018

Straight from the sommelier's toolkit, this handy overview will help you to demystify the sometimes-complicated task of matching food to wine.

The words you need to know

• Taste: the basics – salty, sweet, acidity, bitter and savoury/umami.
• Texture: the tactile parts of food and wine such as ‘chewy’ (tannin) and ‘crisp’ (acidity).
• Body: the sum ‘weight’ of a wine or dish’s key parts. Graded in light-bodied, medium-bodied or full-bodied.
• Savoury: food without sweetness or wine with higher levels of astringency. 

Prime pairs

• Acid and salt: Think riesling with oysters – a classic. 
• Fat and acid: Try hot chips with Champagne. Seriously. 
• Protein and tannin: Match your meat to the right pitch of tannin – where weight meets weight.
• Fat and tannin: Not just power – delicate oils (fat) of pink fish suit soft tannins of light red wines.
• Sweet and heat: Just a touch of residual sugar in wine can muffle the burn of chilli. 
• Savoury and umami: Look to fried chicken – high in fat and salt – paired with skin-contact whites. 

This is an edited extract from the article 'Back to basics' in the latest issue of Halliday magazine. To get the full story, pick up your copy today.

Continue learning about pairing wine with food.