Before we understand how to pair a wine with food, we need to understand more about the flavor of the food.
Lets discover more about it together..
"The taste and flavor of food
The taste of food is caused by sensations that are perceived by the sensory receptors of the tongue. Tasting food leads us to look for the balance of flavors both in the dish as a whole and in its pairing with a wine. Fundamental flavors stand in relation to a dish like fundamental colors stand in relation to an art painting. They are: sweet, bitter, salty and sour (acidic). Each of them has a precise chemical-physical explanation for what happens at the level of the taste buds. According to some theories there is a fifth flavor, umami, which corresponds to the perception of sodium glutamate. This flavor can be associated not only with glutamate, but also with other foods that are particularly rich in protein (meat and cheese in particular)."
"The balance of flavors in food
Flavors tend to offset each other by defining balance points between antagonistic flavors. However, there is no biunivocal relationship between the antagonists: if bitter is offset by sweet, the latter is offset by salty and not bitter. For example, if to compensate for the bitterness of coffee we add sugar, but to compensate for a flavor that is too sweet we add salt. Often the quest for balance of flavors leads to glaring nutritional errors. For example, the sweet tendency in foods automatically leads to a search for saltiness. The classic example is fried potatoes, in which salt is used in abundance as a flavor enhancer to compensate for the sweet tendency of potato starches and the softness and greasiness of frying oil. A classic positive example is the replacement of salt with spices: the salty taste is reinforced by the bitterness and sourness, so less salt can be used, reinforcing the flavor with the sourness and bitterness induced by the addition of spices."
"Taste sensations of food, basic and tendential
We associate sweet with sugar, bitter with spices or the taste of certain vegetables (especially raw), salty with salt, and sour with acids (such as vinegar). In reality there are many other situations in foods that cause taste sensations similar to the basic ones. In these cases we will not speak of taste but of "taste tendency." For example, carbohydrates and starches are broken down into elemental sugars, and foods that are rich in them (pasta, potatoes, legumes) have a sweet tendency. Fruits often contain acidic substances that give sour sensations, although almost always offset by sugars that more or less balance this sensation, depending on the case. Fats (e.g., in cheeses) give a softer, pseudo-sweet sensation, which is offset by savory (salty)."
"Taste and tactile sensations in food
Tactile sensations often provide support to those derived from sensory receptors. Temperature if it is high reinforces the sensations of sweetness, if it is low it compensates for them (and reinforces the sensation of sourness). The unctuousness of fats or oil is associated with sensations of softness and the latter with sweetness (while bitterness is a rather "hard" sensation like savory and sour, reinforced by low temperatures). Hence the presence of oils, sugars, salt and acidic substances in a great many seasonings. The pseudocaloric sensation induced by alcohol is part of the soft sensations, so drinks that are unbalanced from an exclusively ingredient standpoint (e.g., sugary liquors) are served cold. To take the example of fried potatoes, their ideal pairing sauce is mayonnaise, which offsets the saltiness with the sweet tendency of oil and eggs. The presence of cooking liquids makes dishes succulent (think of a rare steak), a sensation of soft (and therefore sweet) tendency that is offset by the astringent action of salt or certain spices or tannins in red wines."
"The taste sensations of food
The taste sensations that define the flavor of food can thus be listed as follows:
Sapidity is the salty sensation that causes drying of the mouth and leads to the desire to drink, determined by the presence of mineral salts and sodium chloride in particular.
Umami is a word of Japanese origin, which can be translated into english as "tasty." This sensation is associated with foods such as seasoned meat, fatty fish, mushrooms or tomatoes. It is perceived by appropriate receptors, which are sensitive to substances such as inosinates, guanylates and especially glutamates, substances whose inherent ability to flavor has caused them to be called "flavor enhancers."
The bitterish tendency is a delicately bitter sensation, which can be found in vegetables such as radicchio, chicory, artichokes, spices, liver, some cheeses, such as blue cheeses, and grilled meats."
Sour tendency is associated with citrus fruits or salads dressed with vinegar. The sourness it brings about makes it difficult to pair with wine, because the softness and structure it would require would inevitably end up overpowering the tendency delicacy of the food."
The sweetness of a food comes from the addition of sugars or sweeteners in desserts or pastries."
The sweet tendency of some foods is a feeling of sweetness or softness, very delicate or barely noticeable, characteristic of some vegetables, such as carrots, squash, potatoes, leeks, but also of fish, shellfish and crustaceans, and dairy products."
Plumpness is a tactile sensation of patinosity and pastiness induced in the oral cavity by foods high in fat, such as most cheeses and sausages such as pig's trotter and cotechino."
Greasiness is a tactile sensation perceived as slipperiness throughout the mouth, enveloping and veiling the tongue. It refers to molten oils or fats."
Succulence is a tactile sensation due to the presence of liquid in the oral cavity, which can either be intrinsic, i.e., inherent in the food being eaten or from its seasoning, or induced, in the case where foods cause more or less abundant oral salivation."
We define spiciness as the set of taste-olfactory sensations due to the presence of spices, which may both possess an intrinsic and marked aromaticity, and in some cases a certain spiciness, a pseudo-painful sensation generated without the intervention of high temperature, by certain substances that have the ability to stimulate the same heat receptors present on human skin and mucous membranes with which they come into contact, such as capsicin in chili peppers and piperine in pepper."
"Food taste and wine pairing
In the practice of food-wine pairing one can never disregard wine tasting, in fact the game of balancing flavors becomes even more complex when beverages intervene to accompany food. Overall harmony is the guiding principle of all food-wine pairing rules. Taste and aromaticity of food should blend into a harmonious whole with the aromaticity and taste of wine, following simple but precise rules."
now that you know more about food and the taste of food in general you can start experimenting by analyzing what is the relationship between food and wine.
You will discover many kinds of combinations.
All you have to do is try