Some Tips and Terms
Six Tips for Pairing Food & Wine
- Acid Loves Food. Acid is what makes your mouth water and it gives wine a refreshing, zingy edge. Believe it or not, acid is a dreamy companion to food – it cuts through creamy sauces, balances fried food, and sings alongside tart flavors like those in a vinaigrette dressing.
- Tannins Like Fat: Tannins give you the drying, sometimes slightly bitter, sensation in your mouth. Tannins help you break down the fatty components in a dish, such as a juicy rib eye.
- Body Matches with Body: Body encompasses the way the wine feels in your mouth. Is it big and powerful or more on the subtle side? Bigger wines usually pair nicely with bigger dishes.
- Flavors Can Complement or Contrast: Sometimes you want a meatier wine with meaty dishes. And sometimes you want a sweeter wine with spicy, fiery dishes. This is a place to experiment!
- Preparation is Key: Ever heard that white meats and fish must pair with white wines? Well, that’s sometimes true. However, the preparation and sauce for the dish is just as important as what’s underneath.
- Get it the Right Temperature: To get the most out of your pairing, you want the wine to be the right temperature. Oftentimes red wines are served too warm. You want your Chianti to be around 61-65° F. So, pop your bottle in the fridge for 15 minutes or so before you serve it.
Fun Terms to Know
Gallo Nero: The literal Italian translation for “black rooster.” The emblematic symbol found on bottles of Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva.
Fiasco: What happens when things get too crazy. And also the name for those old-school straw covered bottles that used to hold your Chianti.
Sangiovese: The grape most often used in Chianti. Like all of us, it can be a bit finicky and difficult at times. Produces wines that are high in acid, high in tannins, and high in deliciousness.
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