Methods of Matching Food and Wine

Harold Lehon
3 min readFeb 3, 2023


The art of wine matching is to choose a bottle that complements a certain cuisine and serve them together. Historically, combining foods and wines has been thought of as a way to enhance the taste of both items.

Using this idea, you may pair wines with a wide range of meals or dishes. When you mix wine with food, you’re not only looking to create a harmonious meal — you also want to optimize the benefits of both elements.

This is not as simple as picking a wine and hoping it goes well with the dinner. Knowing whether your food is sweet or savory should be your first step in the process.

Further, you should inquire about other things, such as whether the saltiness is perceptible. Is the main dish hot and spicy? Is it affluent? And finally, you need to know whether it is fried.

The aforementioned queries serve as a jumping-off point from which you may choose whether you’d like a congruent wine pairing or a complementary pairing with the meal. Congruent and complementary pairings are the two main methods of matching wine. Generally, every other method proposed by experts falls into one of these two categories.

For a congruent match or pairing, it’s ideal for the dish and wine to have much in common in terms of compounds and tastes. For example, you may combine a dessert wine with dessert or red wine with a creamy finish with a pasta meal that also has butter.

Keep in mind that the wine should complement the cuisine, not overpower it, when attempting to create harmonious pairings. If this happens, the wine could lose its flavor. One of the best reasons to combine wine and cuisine that are harmonious is that they may bring out the best in each other. When trying to combine similar flavors, red wines are a safe bet.

There is a wide variety of red wines, each with its own unique scent and taste profile (from cherry to smokey, for instance). Enjoying a full-bodied Syrah wine with your favorite grilled foods is a terrific way to get a harmonious taste profile.

Conversely, complementary matching focuses on combining food and wine that don’t share any components or tastes, but rather enhance each other. Their complementary qualities provide for a harmonious blend of tastes.

You can’t go wrong with a rose, white, or sparkling wine when you’re looking to create contrast. When you drink a sugary white wine with a food that is strongly spiced, the sweetness in the wine will act as a buffer, calming the spices without overpowering the dish.

White wine goes well with salty foods, and vice versa. The saltiness of the meal cuts the sweetness of the vino and enhances the ripe fruit flavors. Salted snacks and fried foods both go nicely with a bottle of Chablis.

In essence, there is no superior method of pairing. The answer lies in the intensified flavors and heightened sensations you want. Keep in mind that you never wish for the wine to overpower the flavors of the dish, or vice versa.



Harold Lehon

Harold Lehon — Business Leader with over a Decade of Experience