Wine Pairing Guide

March 28, 2015

Never again struggle to pair your Food and Wine with this easy to use Infographic, curtesy of the




Why do certain wines go with certain foods?

When you start analyzing the structure of wine, each type of wine features different characteristics such as acidity, tannin, alcohol level and sweetness. If you start thinking about wine traits as flavor ingredients, it becomes easier to pair them with a meal. 

So how come a bold red wine doesn’t go with a fatty fish like salmon?

Tannin and fat actually counteract each other quite well, so it would seem like an oily fish such as salmon would pair well with a red wine. The reason it doesn’t work is because the tannin in the wine and the fattiness of the fish cancel each other out leaving you with a residual fishy flavor. Basically, this pairing brings all the negatives of each component to the forefront as the final taste in your mouth. 

Fish pairs well with wines that have a cleansing effect (a.k.a. high acidity). The wine acts as a scraper of the fish flavor left in your mouth. This could be why highly zesty wines like Champagne go well with many different types of foods.

Food pairing is a science

6 basics to making perfect pairings

Dr. Paul Breslin, a sensory biologist at Rutger’s University, has been studying the effects of taste on the palate. In a recent study he conducted, he focused on how oiliness and astringency interact. He took a closer look at how greasy food leaves an obnoxious taste on the palate. In the study, when tasters rinsed their mouths with water, the greasy feeling would not subside. However, when people rinsed their mouths with tea (a liquid with light tannins and moderate acidity), the greasy feeling went away.
What Dr. Breslin found was that our saliva glands produce proteins to lubricate our mouths. When we eat greasy foods, our mouths over-salivate and make our tongues feel slippery. Tannin and acidity counteract this slippery feeling by pulling out the proteins from our tongue. Of course, this action can also go in the other direction when you drink a very tannic wine with no food. This will leave you with an equally obnoxious astringent and dry feeling in your mouth.
This study illustrates how powerful the acting forces are on the basic characteristics of taste. So the next time you grab a bottle of wine ask yourself:

‘What am I having for dinner?’



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