Food & Wines Pairing Rules – Food Style


From “Perfect Pairings” A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice fro Partnering Wine & Food – Evan Goldstein

When the food is…….


– Serve a wine which is equally sharp or even more so, or the wine will taste off and shattered

– Avoid red wine, except those of a sharper nature (Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Gamay)

– Don’t overlook dry roses and sparkling wines as option.

Slightly Sweet

– Make certain that the wine accompanying the food shares its personality traits: choose a wine that is slightly sweet, such as Chenin Blanc, Riesling or even sake.

– If you really want a dry wine, serve one that’s young and very, very ripe.

– Remember that sometimes a wine with oak can work if the wood’s sweetness mirrors that of the dish; however, success is not guaranteed.




– Pick wines with low to moderate alcohol content, as the wine’s heat will be exaggerated by the salt.

– Play with wines that have some sweetness; salt and sweet can enjoy each other’s company.

– Avoid wines with high levels of oak or tannin.

Spicy & Hot

– The spicier the dish, the more difficult it is to pair with wine. 

– Select young wines with low to moderate alcohol content, minimal (or no) oak, and if possible some residual sugar (for whites and rose).

– Among still wines, stick to off-dry whites and roses; sparkling wines can be nice foils for heat.

– You may have to forgo with 5 alarm chili or those Thai, Indian and Korean dishes that make your hair stand on end.  Opt instead for beer and yougurt based drinks, along with large bowl of rice.


– Select wines with bitter components (oak aging, tannins) to complement the personality of the recipe.

– Try wines with high acidity.  This doesn’t work but it’s better than the opposite extreme. After all, tannin is an acid.


Dominated by a strong sauce or condiment

– Forget the main dish and match the wine to the sauce or condiments and side dishes.

Served very hot

– Allow the dish to cool off, or it will ruin your enjoyment of the wine and make the alcohol (by heating it) seem overwhelming.

– Serve chilled wines if it’s essential that the dish be served very hot.


Food & Wines Pairing General Rules


Food & Wines Matching 是有趣好玩而又變化萬千的玩法 , 它不是數學方程式 , 沒有邏輯定律肯定答案 , 食物烹調個個師傳手勢都不同 , 材料質素新鮮與否亦存有變數 , 個人口味喜嗜又各異 , 只能說是一種感覺藝術。

Food & Wines Matching 要做得好 , 真的不容易 , 有時心想一定擦出火花 , 但實際上又事與願違 , 一定要對食物及 Wine Style 兩者有多少了解 , 不斷大膽嘗試實驗 , 學習調節 , 才可在汒汒酒海找到正確方向就是這未知之素才更有挑戰性及驚喜 …… 酒食配搭得宜 , 能增加酒及食物的味道變化及層次 , 亦可互補不足 , 若做得好真的有如神來之筆 , 畫龍點睛 , 美妙無窮 , 箇中樂趣及成功感非筆墨所能形容。

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From “Perfect Pairings” A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice fro Partnering Wine & Food – Evan Goldstein

Food & Wines Pairing Rules:


– Acidity is the ultimate contrast to an array of dishes.

– Acidity wines are the best wines to pair with tart foods.

– Acidity brings out the integrity of good, simple ingredients.


– Sweetness is a great counterbalance to moderate levels of spicy heat.

– Sweetness in the wine can complement a slight sweetness in food.

– Sweetness can be an effective contrast to salt.

– Sweetness can take the edge off foods that are too tart.

– Dessert-style or extremely sweet wines must be sweeter than the dessert itself.


– Saltiness is lessened by wine’s acidity.

– Salt perception is exaggerated by tannin.

– Alcohol is accentuated by salt.

– Salty dishes can be counterbalanced by off-dry sweet wines.


– Serve bitter foods with tannic wines.

– Counterbalance tannins with fat and protein.


– Oaky flavours are exaggerated by food.

– Oaky wines need very specify foods to show them at the best.

– Lightly oaked or even unoaked are the easiest to pair.

– Oak adds smoothness and roundness of texture to wines.


– Match wines and foods of equal weight.