Tips for sparkling wine tasting
Wine and Food
With its relatively low alcoholic strength, appetizing acidity and lack of sickly artificial flavors, wine is the perfect accompaniment to food. Am I kidding myself that a well-chosen wine makes food taste better? Surely not…
The most important rule about food and wine matching is that there are no rules. You can drink any wine at all with any food-even red wine with fish! – And the world will continue to revolve. Anyone who thinks worse of you for serving the wrong wine is stuffy, prejudiced and probably ill-informed.
There are however some very simple guide-lines for getting the most out of particular foods and bottles.
- the single most important aspect of a wine for food matching is not colour but body (which corresponds closely with alcoholic strength).
- the second most important is aspect is tannins for reds and sweetness for whites.
- try to match a wine s body to the power of the strongest ingredient in the food
- serve delicate- flavoured foods such as simple white fish or poached chicken with lighter bodied wines and stronger , more robust food such as grilled tuna with spiced lentils or osso buco with full bodied wines. Many white wines will do jobs which are conventionally regarded as red wine jobs, and vice versa.
- a tannic wine can taste often when served with chewy foods , notably un-sauced red meat,( sauces are often more powerful than what they are saucing and are usually a better guide to the ideal wine accompaniment).
- all wines taste horribly if served with sweet food, unless they are sweeter than the food itself – which seriously limits the choice of wines to be served with most sweet courses and makes wine purists wary of sweet redishes such as chutneys , jellies and fruit sauces (but sweetish wines can go surprisingly well with savoury foods – a Vouvray demi-sec can taste gorgeous with a savoury creamy sauce for example while sweet wines can go well with cheeses on the sweet and salt principle, , as in melon and prosciutto).
- very acid foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar can do funny things to seriously fine, perfectly balanced wine, but can flatter a slightly acid wine.
- similarly, freshly ground black pepper might distort our impression of a complex, venerable wine but acts as a sensitizing agent on more palates and flatters young. Light wines by making them taste fuller and richer.
Difficult foods with wine
There are very few foods that destroy wine , but very hot spices tend to stun the taste buds so that you could still smell a wine but would find it impossible to experience its dimensions because the sensory equipment in the palate is ablaze.
Globe artichokes and, to a lesser extent, asparagus can make wine taste oddly metallic, coating that it tends to annihilate all but the sweetest, strongest wines .
And don t forget how wine styles can be manipulated by care with serving temperatures.