How Food Can Influence Wine

IMAGE / TABLE NEEDED Using 4 White Wine Categories of DOMSOM and 4 Red Wine Categories (see p 26 of total wine mag)

Just as we at DOMSOM know there are amazing wines to be found at all price points, we also encourage you to experiment with food and wine pairings to determine what you like best.  There are some basic principles to help you make great pairings including factors on why they are so great.  The type of food itself is a key factor in how wine will pair with it, but other factors can have an even greater influence.  Not only does DOMSOM focus on how your wine either enhances a meal or detracts from it, we will also focus on how a meal can either enhance or detract from the wine.

Let’s start with food.  In Module 1, we discussed the primary sensations taste buds sense – sweet, bitter, salty, acid, fat and umami.  One additional sensation we have not yet mentioned is heat, and we are not referring to temperature but the spicy heat which is prominent in many cuisines gaining greater popularity than ever today.  Each of these sensations will create a different response to the key elements we have introduced in wine tasting and identification to include fruitiness, acidity, dryness, sweetness, tannin, and alcohol.  

When pairing food and wine, each of the food related sensations will either enhance or detract from the traits in the wine.  DOMSOM’s table below will provide basic pairing responses using the following symbols:

⇧ – the food and wine pairing enhance each other

⇨ – the food and wine pairing neither enhances nor detracts

⇩ – the food and wine pairing detract from one another

Wine ⇨ Food ⇩FruitinessSweetnessAcidityDrynessTanninAlcohol/ Body

It would be impossible for us to mention every food pairing during this course, but the principles behind what tastes great can be broken down by utilizing the above DOMSOM table.  We will highlight a few of our favorite pairings for the 4 white wines and 4 red wines we have featured, ones most likely to be found on numerous restaurant menus or in many popular cookbooks.  For each varietal, we include pairings for each of the typical styles you can find in each wine varietal.