How to Pair Your Wine
Bold Flavours vs Delicate
When eating a delicate dish like fish with a salad, choosing a bold, impactful wine such as a Maratheftiko can easily overpower the flavours in your food and cause an imbalance. Similarly, if you choose a light red Mavro Ambelisimo with a spicy curry, it can seem like you’re drinking water. To start with, you should, as much as possible, pair bold flavours with bold wines and delicate dishes with delicate wines.
In some cases, however, complementing flavour is not exactly what you are looking for. Contrasting can be just as interesting. For example, if you’re eating chicken with a thick, creamy sauce you might either choose to complement it with a creamy Chardonnay, which will share something of the same characteristics of the food’s flavour, or opt for something that has the opposite such as an acidic kick with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Knowing Your Wine
Mostly pairing comes down to understanding what different wines deliver. That’s a lifelong pursuit in itself and can take a while to work out. Pork is often served with a sweet apple sauce so pairing it with a fruity wine like a Muscat can be quite delightful. If you have a salty food like smoked salmon or a dish with soy sauce, however, in it can benefit from both acidic and sweet wines. For a meal that contains a good deal of fat (either animal, butter or cream) a bold, high impact red wine with a rich, full-bodied flavour would be the order of the day. You wouldn’t, however, serve a sweet wine with a sticky toffee pudding as that would be too overpowering. Pairing wine successfully is not easy for beginners but it’s something that you can learn to do. As you discover more about different wines and begin to understand the nuance of each, you should develop your own sense of what works and what doesn’t. The fun, of course, is all in the experimentation.