How Wine can Affect the Taste of Food

Just like adding milk or sugar to coffee changes the taste, eating certain foods, with wine, will affect the taste of the wine.

If you understand the basics, you can adjust your wine pairings to complement the wine AND the food. When the food and wine you serve taste good together, you have balanced the flavors and also will increase your enjoyment of a meal.
Although it is beyond the scope of this article to offer a complete seminar on wine pairings, here are a few tips:

How does wine acidity affect taste?
If a food pairing has acidity, it gives the wine a less tart taste. If the wine has plenty of acidity, it will balance well with the acidic food and will complement the food with its crispness. If you are having a rich and creamy food, a crisp wine tastes clean and refreshing. In this case, a low-acid wine, would taste flat or one-dimensional.

How does adding a sweet element affect taste?
Adding a sweet element will affect the perceptible sweetness of the wine. It will also help diminish the perception of alcohol. Adding a sweet food such as ripe fruit, will also result in the wine tasting more tart and tannic.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdbaywinefoodfest/3653841719/

How does adding a sour element affect taste?
If your goal is to enhance the sweetness of the wine, adding a sour element will help bring out the wine’s sweetness. Creating a red wine Sangria using assorted citrus fruits is a recipe that achieves this. A wine will tend to taste less tart and less alcoholic with the addition of a sour element.

How does adding a salty element to food affect taste?
A salty element will cause a wine to taste more alcoholic and less tannic. Generally, salt magnifies most flavors and tastes.

How does adding a bitter element to food affect taste?
A bitter element will diminish the sweetness of a wine. This will also diminish the perceived tannins and result in the wine tasting tarter and more alcoholic. Bitter chocolate is a good food to use to obtain this result.

How does adding a spicy hot element to food affect taste?
Spicy hot will cause a wine to taste tarter, more tannic, and more alcoholic. It will also serve to diminish the sweetness of a wine.

As a general rule, a good combination results in a food and wine pairing that do not overpower each other but act as a complement to the flavors of each. If you are new to wine pairing and do not understand the elements behind wine and food pairing, spend some time in a wine bar. If you live in or plan to visit, the wine bars in Houston are a great place to start.

Recently, Houston has become home to a wide variety of wine bars. The wine bars in Houston are spread throughout the city and provide something for nearly every personality and level of wine knowledge. Many are run by serious aficionados.

Memorial Wine Cellar is an excellent place to go to taste wine and meet new friends. This wine bar is located in Houston, TX and frequently offers live music for customers to enjoy.

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