Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Choose Wine Based on Body

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I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

One of the most common wine and food pairing tips is to pair white meat with white wine and red meat with red wine.  This concept refers to one of the most commonly used approaches when pairing food and wine: choosing wine based on its body.

The body of a wine refers to the mouth feel and tannin structure.  Tannin is perceived as the dryness in wines.  I compare it to the after effects of coffee on my tongue.

One comparison that I have found helpful when determining the body of the wine is to think of milk.  There is a definitive difference in the feel on your tongue between skim milk and whole milk.  The lightness and thinness of skim milk can be compared to similar traits in a light bodied wine.  The heavy and thick feel of whole milk can be equated to a full bodied wine.

Wines organized by body from lightest to fullest might look like: sparkling wines, white wines, oaked white wines, light reds, medium reds and full bodied reds.

Proteins organized from lightest to fullest might look like: flaky white fish, oily white fish, fatty fish, poultry, pork, beef and wild game.

You can use these spectrums to pair food and wine. Overlap pairings work as well. For example:

Riesling & Tilapia

Chardonnay & Sea Bass or Chicken Breast

Pinot Noir & Chicken or Pork Chops

Merlot & Filet Mignon or Sirloin

Cabernet Sauvignon & Venison

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One thought on “Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Choose Wine Based on Body

  1. Pingback: Tasting Exercise: Body | Savor

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