Sommelier courses are very technical on food-wine pairing. There are numerous parameters to consider and wines to know.
If I want to simplify the pairing method food-wine thinking about the combination about food and rosé wine, I believe we must follow the fundamental rule of balance.
BALANCE IN PAIRING: HOW TO DO IT
Balance means balancing the weight of a plate with the weight of the wine: the consistency of the wine must not overwhelm that of the plate or vice versa.
A full-bodied rosé wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon for example, is not a good match with a light fish, it would overwhelm it. It means that in your mouth you would mainly feel the consistency of the wine and not that of the fish. Rosé is a wine with many characteristics: there are light and fresh rosé wines and more full-bodied and vintage rosé wines allow us to have fun with our combinations.
In the next phase is necessary to consider the aromas of the wine and evaluate that they do not overwhelm the aromas of the dish (or vice versa).
To do this, you need to know the rule of concordance and contrast.
AGREEMENT AND CONTRAST
For some dishes, such as desserts, the focus is on concordance: the dessert tends to dominate the other tastes and consequently the flavor of the food will not be enhanced. So the sweet goes with the dessert. We will therefore combine a dessert with a sweet wine that enhances both its characteristics.
The same goes for a Syrah which in its aromatic bouquet has those spicy notes typical of the variety. If we combined it with a slightly spicy dish, the concordance turns out to be pleasant.
For other dishes, on the other hand, it is better to focus on contrast: we will therefore combine the dish with a wine that can contrast its taste characteristics.
Let’s take some examples.
A full-bodied and soft rosé wine can contrast a dish with a bitter tendency such as some grilled foods, such as aubergines.
The result is that the roundness of the rosé wine contrasts the bitter note of the aubergine and as a consequence you continue to eat (and drink).
A pasta dish can be contrasted with a rosé with a good freshness like Bardolino Chiaretto. The freshness of the wine contrasts the sweet tendency of the pasta and the result is appreciable.
A sparkling rosé wine with its effervescence can be paired with a fatty dish, like a french fries.
It always takes curiosity and the desire to experiment, some combinations will be better than others. We need to maintain a certain balance and make sure that the flavors are not too contrasting with each other and, above all, one does not exceed the other.
So the rule of balance in pairing concerns both the “body” balance, understood as the weight and consistency of both the dish and the wine, and the aromatic and gustatory balance.
Have you ever tried drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth? The result is bitter and unpleasant. Some foods with wine create chemical reactions that do not enhance the taste buds in the mouth, on the contrary.
We must always experiment and be curious in the world of wine. We begin to consider the balance between our dish and the wine and gradually our palate will improve.
LAST TIPS FOR CHOOSING A GOOD WINE
Avoid wines that are too sweet for your lunch / dinner. The sweet goes with the sweet, it follows the principle of concordance.
Always consider the freshness of the wine. Pairing very fresh rosés with dishes that have a good acid tendency (such as tomatoes) is not a good choice because salivation would be excessive.
Avoid combining dry and still rosés with sweet dishes because the wines would be more bitter and acidic.
Avoid pairing rosé with spicy dishes. In reality, spicy is a great dilemma for sommeliers, it is really difficult if not impossible to combine. The pseudocaloric sensation of alcohol will be reinforced by the spicy sensation of the dish.
Avoid bitter dishes because the wine would be more astringent.
Discover new combinations, have fun, follow these rules and think about what and how you want to combine your next dinner. Sometimes the combinations are also those born by chance, without following rules but following instinct (or what you have in the fridge).