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Rules for matching wine with food?

The simple answer is that there are no rules but given their aromas and textures it is no surprise that the worlds of food and wine are inextricably linked. How the food is cooked, as well as the accompanying spices, condiments or sauces will greatly influence wine choice. The power of the food should be matched by the weight (body) of the wine.

If the food is grilled, baked or smoked it will strengthen the taste impact (power) of the food. Fatty or oilier dishes should be matched with higher acid wines, while salty food is is best balanced by slightly sweet (or fruity) wines.

In matching wine with food the following should be considered:-

* know the basic tastes of wine (sweet, sour and bitter) and recognise their different aromas

* taste and texture (weight and intensity) are important factors in food and wine pairing

* take note of the ingredients being used in a dish and select grape varieties to suit

* marry or contrast - seek harmony between flavours and textures or create balance through the interaction of the food and wine's taste and intensity coming from opposite ends of the scale eg. salty foods can be best balanced by sweet wines

* don't get hung up on the colour of the wine - white meat dishes can be successfully matched to red wines and vice-versa

* be experimental - tasting many different wines with many different foods can result in surprising (and enjoyable) matches

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