Food and wine are natural companions, each bringing out the nuances of flavor in the other. And while some would suggest that specific wines should be had with specific dishes, at Beringer we believe that you should find your own preferences, while offering some guiding principles.
SALTINESS. The careful addition of salt to sauces and savory dishes can sometimes soften the sharp taste of bitterness and astringency in some wines. It's like sprinkling a little salt on a tart Granny Smith apple, softening the sourness and making the apple taste milder and fruitier.
SOURNESS. Sour foods with high acidity will decrease our perception of sourness or tartness in wine, making it taste richer and mellower. White wines are generally higher in acidity than red wines. Dry wines tend to taste more acidic.
SWEETNESS. Sweet foods will increase the perception of bitterness and astringency in wine, making it seem more dry, less fruity and stronger. Acidic foods raise the sweetness of a wine. If you prefer a drier wine, pair with foods that aren't acidic.
SAVORY. Savory flavors in food (also called umami) will also increase our perception of acidity and bitterness in wine. It is saltiness that can counteract the perceptions of bitterness the savory flavors bring to wine.
BITTERNESS. Food with bitter characteristics will further increase the perceptions the bitterness of a wine served with it. Bitterness is often confused with astringency. The two are different but are often found together and have a similar effect on the taste of wine.
ASTRINGENCY. Astringency in wine is accentuated by food that is sweet or spicy, and is suppressed by foods that are acidic, salty or fatty. Spicy food will exaggerate the tannins and bitterness in a wine, but adding something salty or sour to the food will counteract.