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How to correctly pair wine (Part 1)

How to correctly pair wine (Part 1)

Four different methods for pairing wine and the reasons behind them.

Here are 4 different ways to pair wine.

- The traditional method: Wine produced in a specific province, region or country should be paired with foods from the same area. For example, tagliatelle alla Bolognese should be paired with a bottle of Lambrusco or Sorbara, while bucatini all’amatriciana can be paired with Frascati Rosso Superiore.

- The method of pairing strength of flavors: According to this method, a light wine should be paired with foods and dishes that have delicate flavors, while a more structured, full-body wine should be served with foods containing stronger flavors. This of wine pairing method is based on the concept that the flavors of both the food and wine should not overpower one another. This way you can taste and fully appreciate all the flavors. For example, pasta with pesto sauce could be served with a Vermentino dei Colli di Luni, while Florentine meatloaf (polpettone) could be served with Chianti Classico.

- The method of balancing flavors: It is known that human beings can perceive only 4 flavors (sweet, salty, sour and bitter) and that all of the other gustatory sensations are perfumes, aromas and nerve sensations like spicy. According to this wine pairing method, we should pair food dominated by one of these four flavors with a wine with a similar character, so that there is a balance or harmony between the two. For example, the sweetness of a blackberry tart would pair well with Vin Santo, while raw, summer vegetables served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (called pinzimonio in Italian) would pair well with a Vernaccia di San Gimignano because the acidity of the vinaigrette and bitterness of the vegetables would pair perfectly with the acidity of this wine and almond aftertaste.

- The method of pairing contrasting flavors: As you can guess based on the name of this method, very savor foods should be paired with sweet wines and vice versa. This helps to avoid too many strong, overlapping flavors. For example, a board of aged and blue cheeses could be paired with a sweet Moscato Passito, or a terrine of foie gras could be paired with Malvasia di Lipari.

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