Wine and food: the rules to create perfect pairings
How to perfectly pair wine with dishes
Pairing wine and food is the secret to transforming a simple meal into a symphony of flavours for the palate.
September is a special month in Sardinia, the time when nature is preparing to give one of its most precious treasures: grapes. And the grape harvest, a millenary rite, represents the deep bond that the beautiful island has with history and culture.
The harvest is much more than “simply picking grapes”: it is an engaging ritual that has its roots in the mists of time. The first traces of viticulture in Sardinia date back to over two thousand years ago, when the Phoenicians introduced the first vines: since then, the cultivation of grapes has thrived in a unique environment, characterised by arid soils and a warm climate, but mitigated by the sea breeze, perfect environmental conditions for the production of high-quality wines.
Sa Innenna, the harvest, usually begins between the end of August and the beginning of September and can last until October, depending on the type of grape and weather variations.
It is a hectic period, but also magical: the vines overflow with ripe bunches, hanging like jewels from the branches, and families and the community gather in the vineyards at the first light of dawn, armed with shears and baskets, still preferring traditional methods to mechanised means.
Once harvested with care and dedication, the grapes are then taken to the cellars, where the winemaking process will begin, i.e. the transformation of the must into wine.
However, the harvest is much more than agricultural work: the cultivation of vines and the production of excellent wines are centuries-old traditions that have helped to define the Sardinian identity. In addition, it is also a moment of hope and gratitude, an engaging experience that requires patience and skill, an art that is always alive and current that is transmitted from generation to generation.
Wine-food pairing: a fascinating art that can turn the meal into an unforgettable experience
The perfect combination of wine and food is the secret to transforming a common meal into an extraordinary culinary experience: wine can improve aromas and flavours but some fundamental rules must be followed.
Let’s delve into five of them to understand how important they are and how they can sharpen our palate.
1. The harmony of flavours:
The harmony between wine and food is essential: the flavours should integrate pleasantly, without dominating each other. For example, a robust and tannic red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon can be an ideal match for a grilled steak, since the meat complements the tannins of the wine, creating balance.
Red wines generally go well with meat-rich dishes, while light white wines are more suitable for fish and seafood dishes.
2. The structure:
The structure of the wine, which includes acidity, body and tannins, must also be taken into account: a fresh white wine with a lively acidity such as Chardonnay goes well with fatty dishes such as butter chicken, since the acidity of the wine cuts the richness of the dish, making the experience tasty and balanced.
3. The region of origin:
Considering the region of origin of wine and food can greatly improve the pairing.
A Chianti Classico, a famous Tuscan red wine, goes well with Italian dishes such as pasta with tomato sauce or pizza, as the regional flavours complement each other best.
4. The cooking method:
The cooking method in turn affects the ideal combination. A sparkling wine such as Champagne or Prosecco is perfect to accompany fried or crunchy dishes: their effervescence and acidity counteract the greasy and heavy sensation of fried foods, cleaning and refreshing the palate.
5. Start experimenting: you should not be afraid to experiment. The wine-food pairing is a subjective art, what may please one person, another may not like it. For this reason, it is advisable to taste different wines with various dishes to find out which combinations each one prefers.
6.The importance of a Sommelier:
Finally, the wine-food pairing guided by a sommelier (the wine expert, with in-depth knowledge of the variety, production regions and styles) is really precious: relying on a sommelier, you will enjoy a tailor-made experience in which each wine is carefully selected to make the most of each dish.
Sommeliers are able to consider all factors, from personal preferences to meal details, to ensure a perfect match, and provide timely information on wine, its history and its production, enriching the culinary experience and also allowing you to fully appreciate the link between wine and food.
Moreover, thanks to their skills, they can suggest lesser known but equally extraordinary wines to surprise and delight the palate.
Gourmet Cooking Academy: explore your talent in the kitchen at Forte Village
A stone’s throw from the crystal clear sea of Sardinia and its white beaches, the award-winning Forte Village Resort is the perfect destination for a holiday of comfort, privacy, wellness, sport, fun and starred cuisine.
If those who love sports even on holiday can train at the modern gym and the numerous Sports Academies, and those who want to relax can try the exclusive holistic treatments of the Acquaforte Thalasso & Spa, all those who want to experiment and have fun in the kitchen will find Gourmet Cooking Academy waiting for them, the cooking school with one lesson a day to learn the basics of the great traditional Italian and international cuisine, perfect one of its masterpieces or create an entire menu.
As in the best cooking schools, each participant will have a personal station. The one-week course includes the creation of an entire menu, from appetisers to first courses, including tomato sauce, to second courses up to pastry.
Among the topics covered, “Pairing a dish with the right wine” is definitely a must. A unique experience that guides participants to pair a dish presented by the resort’s chefs with the perfect wine by the sommelier.
Would you like to learn the secrets of finding the perfect combination of wine and food and enjoy a fabulous holiday in an authentic paradise? Discover Forte Village Resort in Sardinia