World food and wine

One of the most asked questions about wine is: What food is the best combination with this specific wine. There are general directions for this, but no specific rules. First of all you need to know some basics about taste.

We all have learned that there are four basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. The last decade or so a fifth taste has been widely accepted and is known as umami. It is a Japanese term for a taste which is difficult to describe, but most easily understood as “savory”. The purpose of taste is to drive appetite.

Normally vintage wines (wines of a certain type or year) are made in a single large batch. This way every bottle will have the same taste.
One would expect that grape species and varietal blend are the main factors that make the taste, but the ground and climate (this is known as terroir) where the grapes are cultivated also have an enormous impact on the taste of the wine.
Changes in the climate during the season can influence the character of a wine so much, that different vintages (of the same grape sort) from the same vineyard can have a completely different taste and quality.

Food and wine have the same effect on each other as for example food and spices. If you taste only a wine it will taste much different then when it is combined with food. The reason for this is that the sugar and tannins (sort of acid) react with the food and spices and will give different taste then consuming each of them separately. So wine and food are complementary to each other. Together they will enhance your food experience!

Taking the above into consideration, it is not easy to pair wine and food. Successful combinations can be made if you try to find similarities of not only taste, but also of flavor. You can also consider a combination with high contrast to each other. If the dish is very salty, it will decrease the bitter taste of wine and because of this a sweet wine may even taste sweeter.  If a lot of vinegar is used in the food, you will not notice the sourness of the wine and thus making its taste so much richer and more mellow.
Not many wines will ruin your meal, but there are some dishes that can ruin a good wine. If very hot spices are used, this will stun your taste buds. You will still be able to smell, but can’t determine the taste.

Taking all these factors in consideration it is very difficult to tell which food and wine should match. Follow your own taste and nose and try several combinations to get comfortable with it. If you think your combination is tasting very well, than that is the best matching you can do!

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Wine Food Parings

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