Savoir-vivre Akademia Restaurant in warsaw
Savoir-vivre at the restaurant

How to match wine with food?

It is commonly known that matching wine with a specific meal is not an easy thing to do. The most important thing, that needs to be taken care of is a harmony between food’s and wine’s taste.

What should be taken into consideration while choosing wine?

Before serving wine to a meal you should know what tastes will be served. We can’t outshine flavors of food or disrupt its aroma with wine or the other way round. The wine should be matched to the main dish or at least to the main ingredient of a meal. The only exception is matching wine to the meals with sauces which were prepared with wine as a base. In that case consumers should be give the exact same wine that was used in the sauce.
It is worth to mention that there are some meals or ingredients that shouldn’t be served with wine at all. For sure one of the examples are soups because of their fluid consistency, dishes with vinegar, fruit like melons or avocado, but also eggs and spinach. The taste of wine combined with this foods becomes different and starts getting metallic aftertaste.

What kind of wines serve and how to do it?

One important rule while serving wines is the order. White wine should always be served before pink and red. From the lightest to heaviest, so the first ones in the line are dry wines and sweet are next. From the youngest to the oldest. If regional cuisine is to be served it is worth to prepare a wine that comes from the same region. On the other hand spicy, flavorful dishes require wines that are as intensive.
Wine served to the meal should have a proper temperature. For red wine it is between 16 and 20oC, while white one should be about 8-12 so it needs to be kept in the fridge. What is also important and needs to be brought up is the fact that wines which are older than 6 years should be opened few hour earlier.
Harmonious approach has created one simple rule as it comes to matching and serving wines. Light, white wines should be paired up with fish and poultry, red wine should be served with meat whereas sweet wine usually accompanies desserts. With time there have appeared many more kinds of wines and many various dishes and that is why those rules had to be widened.

Which wine to which dishes?

White wine perfectly goes with fish, seafood, cheeses, poultry and various poultry dishes like pâtés. It is said that this kind of wine would not dominate the delicate taste of those dishes and will only emphasize it. Whereas if the dishes is baked, roasted or fried more suitable will be a glass of light red wine. It works the same way with salmon or tuna, because the taste of white wine will disappear with it. White wine is often served alone, before a meal as an aperitif because it is very refreshing.
Pink wine in some cases can be served alternatively with white, but only when the dish is rather intensely seasoned, with wild birds, cold appetizers, pork, veal, mushrooms and spicy cheeses. Pink wines can also be served with desserts. Light red wine is often served with dishes containing smoked meats, cold appetizers, red, slightly seasoned meats or goose. Dishes made with the usage of ingredients such as: truffles, mushrooms, mustard, thyme, bay leaf or oregano also deserve aromatic red wine. Red wine is also served with farinaceous-based dishes like pizza or pastas.
However heavier red wines are served with dark meats, sausage, venison, grilled dishes, blueberries, plums or meals with butter and cream. Herbs such as thyme, rosemary and oregano can also be included in the group of foods that go well with heavy red wine.
Desserts should be accompanied by sweet wines, sometimes even sweeter than the dessert itself. The rule goes that the wine should complement the level of sweetness. Sweet white wines will taste the best with desserts containing whipped cream or creams, while red wines will be a perfect addition to spicy cookies, gingerbread or cakes. Desserts should never be served with dry wines!

If during the meal in a restaurant you are not sure which wine will match your dish best or you simply don’t know how to do it, don’t be shy to ask the waiter or sommelier. They are experts in the field and will eagerly advice you on different kind of wines.

There are plenty of rules on how to match the wine with food but what matters the most is the pleasure coming from both your meal and wine. Even if your choice is contrary to general rules you should always keep in mind that your enjoyment is the most important factor.