Wine Notes, continued

There were more great tips in the wine notes I found from my class years ago.  These were on Basic Flavors.  This is something I (and could likely do a generic ‘we’) often think about when selecting a wine to pair with food.


  • Salty
    • Works well with crisp, dry white wines
    • Trick: adding salt to food reduces the tannic impression of some red wines
  • Spicy
    • Reduces the sweetness of wine, making some dry reds taste astringent
    • Works well with ripe fruity wine
  • Sour (e.g. lemon, vinegar)
    • Generally very hard to pair with wine
    • Rely on crisp, acidic wines like Sauvignon Blanc
  • Savory (e.g. mushroom, soy, umami)
    • Red wine, preferably full bodied
    • Rarely works well with white wine
  • Smoky (e.g. smoked meat, smoked fish, even some smoked cheeses)
    • A bit of sweetness will work, like in Sherry of Gewurztraminer
    • With smoked fish or pork, German Riesling
    • With smoked meat, try spicy Zinfandel or (Australian) Shiraz
  • Sweet
    • Sweet foods make the wine taste drier than it truly is
    • With desserts, wine should always be sweeter than the food, otherwise the lose their body and often taste sour

And some side scribbles:

White before red
Young before old
Simple before complex
Dry before sweet
Temperature – 20 minute rule – need to remember the exact specs, but I think it’s put a red in the fridge for 20.
Cork does you no good for testing
Crystals on the cork are no problem
Price a bottle of wine between the cost of 1-2 entrees
The wine doesn’t have the match the main ingredient on the plate
Red fish = red wine
Short cooking time = white wine
Soft cheese = white wine
Hard/veined cheese = red wine

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