Knowing which wine to pair with which food can elevate a meal and make dining an experience to savour. Experts will tell you that the right wine can enhance flavours, textures and ingredients in food because wine and food react differently to each other, and finding the right combination is what makes dining so enjoyable.
There are six fundamental flavour profiles that you can experiment with when pairing food and wine: salt, sweet, bitterness, fat, acidity, and alcohol.
For some examples of food and wine pairings at home, read on for some handy tips:
• A light dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio go well with green and roasted vegetables and fish.
• Sweet white wines such as Riesling or Moscato are best enjoyed after dinner, paired with cheese and desserts.
• Sparkling wine such as Champagne, Prosecco or Cava suits fish dishes, carbohydrate heavy dishes and cheeses.
• A medium red wine such as a Merlot or Sangovese is best paired with white, red and cured or smoked meats.
People who frequent restaurants are occasionally lucky enough to have sommeliers make food pairing recommendations for them, but if you'd like to expand your own knowledge on food and wine then taking a food and wine pairing masterclass is a good idea.
Food and wine pairing classes teach the basic elements, such as understanding the balance between the weight of the food and the weight or body of the wine; how robust wines can overwhelm light dishes and vice versa; how to use the weight, flavour and texture of wine to contrast and complement a meal; and how sugar, acid, alcohol and tannins of the wine can be accentuated or minimised when paired with certain types of food.
While many books, magazines and websites offer guidelines on how pairing of food and wine should be done, sometimes it's better to see it in action.
Vinopolis is one such place that offers premier wine and food pairing classes. They teach what to look for and how to pair food and wine for the ultimate combination. They don't just offer theory; they help you practice food pairing so you learn quickly and become more confident in your wine and food selection.
Based in London's Bankside, Vinopolis is an attraction that offers exclusive wine tasting and wine pairing packages. It has over 100 wines, champagnes and spirits, and its Basics of Food and Wine Pairing Masterclass is a fun and informative way to learn about both food and wine.
Once you have mastered the skill of food and wine pairing, you can put it to the test at one of Vinopolis' five bars and restaurants. A typical food and wine pairing class at Vinopolis includes a tour of the two and a half acre attraction, tokens to spend on samples and a lively interactive class.