Food and wine paring is not as complicated as it sounds. First of all, pairing wines and food is entirely an experience personalised by you and your taste buds, says Eddie Osterland, Master Sommelier.
Properly chosen, wine acts like a spice rather than a beverage. Like salt and pepper or a squeeze of lemon on fish, wine enhances and amplifies food flavours. When combining foods and wines, the goal is to create a synergy. Synergy is by definition the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. In order to properly experience this synergy you must taste the food and wine simultaneously, by combining the food and wine in your mouth at the same time. Have you ever tried eating meat alongside fries? It's exactly the same outcome. You will therefore enjoy a more complex gustatory experience, which can be expressed by the business formula for synergy: 1 + 1= 3
Some Basic Guidelines from a Master Sommelier:
1. With simply prepared foods, use simple wines. Keep things in perspective. Neither wine nor food should compete with each other — balance is the keyword.
2. Opposites attract each other. Try contrasting flavors (i.e. sweet/fruity vs. salty). Riesling with smoked salmon, for example.
4. Reds with grilled meat. If using a great wine, the simpler the meal, the better you will showcase the wine.
5. With dessert wines, the higher the quality of the wine, the simpler the dessert. Always make sure the dessert is not as sweet as the wine. Most desserts kill dessert wines because they are too sweet.
These are just basic suggestions. Keep in mind that wine has become more complex, just as the food industry has, so, we recommend that you mix whatever meal you like with a wine to your liking and see how that goes.