Many people ask us at our Buenos Aires wine tastings how we decide which foods to pair with which wines.  Although pairing does require some thought and experimentation, there are some simple guidelines to consider when trying to pair food with your wine at home.  Here are a few tips:

The first and simple rule to follow is to match the weight of the wine with the weight of the pairing.  If your food overpowers the wine, the wine may appear weak in comparison.  Find foods that evenly match your wine to bring out the best qualities in both.  If you are trying to showcase a special bottle of wine and you want it to be the focus of your meal, try foods that are still equal in weight but subtler in flavor.

If you are going to drink a more tannic wine like a Bonarda, foods with more fat pair well with the wine, because the fat of the food helps cut through the tannins.  Consider pairing meats like salami and creamier cheeses to accompany your more tannic wine.

Another thing to consider is the level of the acidity in the wine with the level of the acidity in the food.  Wines that are not as acidic as their foods will appear weak in comparison.  Try to pair acidic dishes like fish with lemon with acidic wines like a Torrontes or Sauvignon Blanc.

A few foods that are difficult to pair with wine are artichokes, asparagus, and eggs.    The compounds in these foods tend to distort the flavor of the wine resulting in unpalatable combinations.

Even with these suggestions remember wine is an experience meant to be enjoyed and what is pleasing to one may not be pleasing to all.  Do not be afraid to experiment with new food pairings to see which foods bring out the best characteristics of the wine you love.

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