Your Go-To Guide to Pairing Food & Wine!

By on June 27, 2014

Gear up because we’re going to battle! At least, that’s how I felt whenever I had to select a wine for my meal in a restaurant. I wasn’t ready for the war wounds sustained by the grape stem stabbings propelled from my Sommelier’s disdained looks at my wine selections. No need to mention that my normally fair colored complexion would shift to a ripened shade of dark Garnacha.

Big mistake, big mistake……or was it? I like to order to my steak well done in Paris; much to the vocal repugnance of the waiters who feel this is an offense worthy of a Marie-Antoinette punishment. This is the meat cuisson I prefer! (Desolé Chef Michel Busch). Same rules apply to wine and food pairings; eat and drink what you like!

The question asked should be: “why do we need to pair food and wine?” In life, some people go better together than others, and so too does wine and food. A myriad of books has been written from a scientifical point of view of why such occurrences take place. Yes, this is all quite fascinating and interesting but I have a full time job and another pay free job at home plus furkids, so let’s keep this simple again.

The following is a quick, basic and easy start-up guide which will steer you towards a happier food and wine marriage. You may agree or disagree; feel free to tweak or change things for your perfect wine relationship to be successful.

  1. Balance your palate: don’t let the food win the fight for flavours because it will kill your wine and don’t let the heavy weight feel of your food flatten a lighter style of wine.
  2. Aromatic assets: find the common aromas in both your food and wine. Nothing in common? Find different aromas to match and marry. Sometimes opposites attract.
  3. Culture to culture: local food loves local wine. Born from the same soil source, both food and wine will often inherit the same aromas and flavours or certain similar traits. After all, food and wine pairings naturally came together locally over hundreds of years ago before this was even a topic of debate.
  4. Intensity: how rich is he? I’m referring to the wine and food of course. A rich stew loves a rich style of wine. On the other hand, a hot and spicy meal will definitely prefer a wine which is not too high in alcohol as to not set fire between both. Reduce the fire intensity by opting for a lower alcohol and lighter bodied wine in order to kill the burning mouth feel effect. You might also select a wine that shows off its strong aromatic attributes as they tend to search for the flavours in spicy dishes. High and oily deep fried foods will benefit from an acidic wine that will be able to cut through that fat and grease. Wine can be so helpful!


The above will send you in the right direction for your next meal pairing but the second step to continue the road to a battle free event in selecting your wine safely without fear would be to take note of the cooking method used in preparing the food items. This can drastically change the taste of your choice of meal, and so too will the behavior of the wine change when paired to the same dish but cooked differently.


In the end, good food, good wine shared among good friends is always a perfect match!

Sommelière Mimi

About Sommelière Mimi

Sommelière Mimi was born in Montreal in a wine loving family. Her wine tasting experience dates back to an early age and after studies in English Literature, Languages, Medical Laboratory, and even a Pilot License, she finally decided to officially learn the language of Cava, Prosecco, and Vitis vinifera by obtaining the Sommelier Diploma. Her “day job” as a Flight Attendant enables her to keep discovering products from around the world. Mimi has decided to pursue her wine studies and also share her joy in discovering wine.

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