When food and wine are paired well, they bring out the best in each other, enhancing and complementing the aromas and flavours. If you get it wrong, flavours can be masked or overwhelmed.
Many wines are ideal for drinking on their own as an aperitif, and some wines like Riesling and perhaps the less well known Gewurztraminer come to life when paired with food.
Light flavour foods can be overwhelmed by a strong wine, and full flavoured dishes can overwhelm lighter wines.
There are also a few pairings that result in unpleasant tastes. For example pairing white poultry with a Cabernet Sauvignon can give you a metallic taste – probably not the best experience you will have! Whereas, match the Cabernet Sauvignon to a spicy or full flavoured red meat dish and you have a winner.
Similarly a Sauvignon Blanc will be overwhelmed by a spice dish but is wonderful with seafoods and salads.
Winemakers often give interesting recommendations on which foods match their vintages perfectly – especially helpful where the wine is a blend of grapes. At Wine Palate you can find this information on each wine page under the How To Enjoy This Wine section.
Let's look at which foods and wines go well together.
Fruits - strawberry, raspberry, tomato
Vegetables – avocado, red and green peppers
Dishes to try – chicken, fish, Chinese (Sweet and Sour), lightly spiced Mexican and Indian dishes
Sparkling wines are best for welcoming guests, and as an aperitif - however they do pair well with Creamy Pastas, Salads, Seafoods and Sushi.