Just like their White Wine cousins, red wines can produce dramatically different styles of wine even when made from the same varietal. Climate and how the wine maker chooses to produce the wine play key roles in the ultimate taste, flavor, style and experience each wine delivers. DOMSOM has found these flavor profiles generally fit into the 3 DOMSOM Red Wine Categories: Dry and Dirty, Fresh and Fruity and Packed with a Punch. Knowing where your bottle falls within these categories can help take the fear and confusion out of food pairing and make for a great wine experience.
Fat, salt, acid and even how foods are cooked can make a huge impact on whether a specific food pairs well within the Red Wine Categories. For wine, specific fruit flavors and condition of the fruit, from just-ripe to baked or jammy, coupled with acidity, alcohol and tannins are all elements that influence a food and wine pairing. The wine influences table earlier in this Module provides a great resource so you do not have to memorize how salt impacts fruity wines or high-alcohol wines.
For red wines, you’ll find tannins are an important element driving food pairings. As with white wines, acidity in red wine likes acidity in food. Tannins, however, can taste bitter when spices in specific foods are quite high as in a spicy curry or chili-based sauce in a dish. Lower tannin, fruit-forward reds can make a great pairing with spicy foods while a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon may taste bitter and leave a sandpaper feel in your mouth!
Wine selection is very personal and DOMSOM will not give you a wine violation ticket for pairing Zinfandel with a warm slice of apple pie – but don’t say we didn’t warn you if it doesn’t taste great! At DOMSOM we want you to have fun, try new things and make your own great food and wine experiences. We highly encourage you to get a big bar of chocolate, pour a glass of red wine and simply indulge!