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FOOD & WINE PAIRING TIPS AND TRICKS




If you are looking for some tips and tricks for food and wine pairing, here's what you need to know! Jump right in and try your hand at food and wine pairing! Wine pairing Tips: Rather than focusing on your basic ingredients (for example, meat, chicken, or fish), pair flavours with flavours. A good rule of thumb is to pair fruity with fruity. A dish with a fruit element, for example, pork with caramelised apples, pairs well with a fruity Chenin Blanc. Match ‘delicate to delicate’ and ‘bold to bold’. A delicate flavour, for example, crayfish, goes well with a lightly oaked Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc, while big, bold flavours, like lamb curry, require a bold, big-flavoured wine (think Shiraz). It is common to think that we need to pair the wine with the meat or with the fish. However, in some cases, the sauce or cooking method have more influence on the actual taste of the dish There are no mistakes in food and wine pairing. If the wine you selected did not work with the dish that you decided to pair it with then it shouldn't be considered a mistake. It will help you in making your decision next time you prepare the same dish. Taste in Wine is subjective and you should always consider YOUR taste. If a combination pleases you then it is a good choice for you. Food and wine pairing should be fun, social, and above all delicious. We recommend trying new more adventurous pairings you may discover a pairing that you like even if it is unconventional. That’s what makes food and wine pairing exciting!

Terms to Know Acidity: Present in all grapes and can play a role in the preservation of the wine. Wines with a sharper, more crisp taste will have higher levels of acidity. Body: This describes the flavour profile of a wine. A full-bodied wine is one with a powerful flavour and a strong aftertaste. Dry: This is a wine that normally would consist of very little to no sugars. Tannin: The chemical compound that is found in the skin, seeds, and stems of grapes. Often incorporated in the aging of the wood barrels. Food Flavours Salt is common in a variety of different foods but is common in fried foods, pasta sauces, and potatoes among others. Salty foods can have an impact on the taste profile of a wine and the best pairings for salty foods include sparkling wines and acidic wines that will have the ability to balance the flavours within a dish. Acidity adds freshness to both wine and food. If you're eating a dish with strong acidic content, pair it with an acidic wine that can keep up with the acids in the food, or the wine will taste bland. Salad dressings are very high in acidity, so when pairing salads it's important to base the pairing off of the dressing and not the salad contents itself. A great pairing for acidic dressings is Sauvignon Blanc. Fat is one of the few flavour profiles that are not found in wine. Create complementary pairings when pairing fatty foods with wine. Tannins are the one key aspect of wine that pairs well with fatty foods. A great suggestion is a cabernet-based wine, as the fruit and berry flavours of the wine will complement the smoky flavours within the meat. With the existence of bitter food and bitter wine, there is one key rule to follow. Avoid congruent pairings, as pairing to bitter elements will only enhance the bitterness in both the food and winemaking it an unpleasant pairing experience. The level of sweetness is key to take note of when pairing wine with desserts and other sweet food items. The wine must taste sweeter than the dessert or the wine will be overwhelmed and ultimately stripped of its flavour. The best dessert and dessert wine combinations are usually based on a pairing of a not-too-sweet dessert with a sweeter wine. Or a sweet dessert wine paired with a killer cheese platter Spicy foods allow for both complementary and congruent pairings. The main factor to consider is the ability of spicy food to increase the taste of bitterness and acidity and decrease the body and sweetness of a wine. Umani is found naturally in many foods and translates to a pleasant savoury taste, which really couldn't describe the flavour any better. Famously in seaweed and soy sauce, but also in tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, cold cuts, and meat in general and refers to our tongue’s receptiveness to glutamates.


There are no mistakes in food and wine pairing. So what, if the wine did not work with the dish that you decided to pair it with then write it off to experience. It will only help you in making a better decision the next time you prepare the same dish. Taste in Wine is subjective and you should always consider YOUR taste. If a combination pleases you then it is a good choice for you. Food and wine pairing should be fun, social, and above all delicious. We recommend that you try new, more adventurous pairings, and that way you may discover a pairing that you like even if it is unconventional. That’s what makes food and wine pairing so exciting! If you are not sure… Here are some tried and tested combinations where even beginners can’t go wrong: Port and Blue Cheese Champagne and Canapes (salty, savoury morsels) Merlot and Dark Chocolate or Lamb Full-bodied reds with a traditional Bolognaise Cabernet Sauvignon and Steaks, or Stews Chardonnay and Seafood


Rosé with a Niçoise salad Chardonnay and Butternut Soup or Brie and Camembert

Pinotage and Bobotie

Sauvignon Blanc and Crayfish or Oysters or even Sushi Shiraz and Venison or Oxtail Blanc de Noir and Ham or Pork Chenin Blanc with Salads Shiraz and Spareribs



Join us for a delightful evening of Fine Food and Wine Pairing on Friday 18 November, the event starts at 18h00 and space is limited. This is a culinary experience you won't be quick to forget, so secure your table in advance Contact: info@steynscullinaryschool.co.za or WhatsApp us at 072 645 5167.




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