A Simple Guide to Food & Wine Pairing

July 18, 2019

A SIMPLE GUIDE TO FOOD & WINE PAIRING

Choosing wine comes with no judgement at Bancone…

We encourage you to drink wine you enjoy drinking! But to also keep in mind that your favourite wine when drunk alone is likely to taste different when sipped on alongside a plate of food.

Having recently launched our more substantial wine list, we felt it was about time to share some top tips with our foodie customers that love a delicious glass (or bottle) of wine with their meal but need an extra hand on choosing what to drink. Our new list gives you more detailed tasting notes to help you know what to expect from the wine you order and our tips below will help you to choose which of these wines will go best with your dishes.

So here it is. Our simple guide to help you choose a wine to compliment or enhance your dining experience. Don’t be embarrassed to pull it out at the table when ordering either 😉

SIMPLE ELEMENTS TO IDENTIFY IN WINE

Acid > Bitter > Sweet 

Acid

Also described as bright, refreshing, tart or crisp. The same sensation you get when you sip a good margarita or a glass of fresh lemonade. It has you salivating and reaching for another sip. You can tell if I wine has high acidity if you experience a tingling sensation at the sides and top of your tongue and you begin to salivate.

Bitter (tannin)

Tannin adds bitterness, structure and complexity to wine and is often described as having a herbaceous note. The effect of tannins creates a drying sensation in your mouth. The more tannic a wine is the drier your mouth will feel. A more tannic wine will have had longer contact with the grape skin, seed and stems which is why red wine is generally more tannic than white wine.

Sweetness

We identify sweetness from our taste buds on the tip of our tongue.

Most wine other than dessert wine is “dry” (low residual sugar). However, you will find that wines that pronounce fruitier notes will a give a sweeter sensation when drinking. It’s always helpful to ask if this isn’t mentioned in the description. Click here for a wine sweetness chart by WineFolly for a bit more guidance based on region and grape variety.

 

SIMPLE FLAVOUR ELEMENTS TO IDENTIFY WITH FOOD

There are A LOT but the main ones to identify are:

Fat > Acid > Spice > Salt > Sweet  

HOW TO PAIR WINE AND FOOD ELEMENTS

 

Food + Wine
Fat Acid or High Alcohol A wine with pronounced acidity adds freshness and works well to compliment fatty food. Alcohol content in wine has similar affects as acidity which is why fatty foods also work well with high abv wines. Our dill gnocchi with artichoke would pair well with the Frascati or Soave due to its good acidity and high mineral content.
Fat Tannin Fat on the tongue alleviates bitterness and works well together. The most common pairing that uses this combination is steak with red wine. Avoid pairing bitter food with tannic wine as it enhances bitterness.
Acid Acid Acidic food should be paired with equally acidic wines. When you match acidity they balance each other out allowing the other more nuanced flavours to show through.
Spice Sweet Residual sugar cools down spice and creates balance between the food and the wine. Avoid pairing spicy food with high alcohol or tannic wines.
Salty Sweet The reason why salted caramel or salted pretzels works so well! Pair salty food with off-dry (slightly sweet) wines. Our brown shrimp & seaweed butter would pair well with the Verdeca, Li Veli.
Sweet Sweet Dessert wines with desserts. The ideal match needs to be at least as sweet as the dish otherwise it will be overwhelmed. First identify if the dessert is tangy/fruity or rich/creamy? A fruitier dessert will need a wine with higher acidity sweet wine while richer ones suit a softer grape like Muscat or Sémillon. Try the Moscato d’Asti from the legendary Vietti family for a slightly sweet sparkling wine.

 

“What grows together goes together”

One final note, this familiar saying, is a great rule to live by. Pairing foods from the same ethnicity and more specifically the same region tends to work well together as the agriculture and grapevines have stemmed from the same terroir.

Here’s an example of a good pairing:

The Food:

So let’s take our classic Silk hankies dish. The overriding components of this dish come from the walnut butter and yolk giving a delicious fattiness to the dish. The condimento morbido, a white wine vinegar, also adds a touch of sweetness and acidity to balance it.

The Wine Pairing:

We’d suggest a wine with a good amount of acidity, fruity notes and not too dry.

Friulano from Bastianich: A medium bodied white wine that packs a punch with luscious pear and lime zest and a refreshing mouth-watering acidity keeping you going back for more.

The acidity will keep your palette cleansed, making the dish feel lighter and allowing the more nuanced notes of the condiment morbido to shine through.

 

Let us know what pairings you experiment with by tagging us @Bancone.Pasta on Instagram.