When considering a wine and food pairing, it is best to pick a wine that balances the natural flavors of the food. Spicy, flavorful food should be paired with a spicy, flavorful wine. On the other hand, a mild, neutral dish should be paired with a mild, neutral wine. Most beef dishes would be considered a fatty, flavorful dish, so they pair well with charismatic red wines like big Cabs and Zinfandels. Rich, creamy pasta sauce would be better suited to match with a rich Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc. Acidic dishes like pasta with tomato sauce pair well with a wine that is also high in acidity, like Chianti. However, this same Chianti will overpower a mild seafood dish or a rich creamy pasta sauce. So, try to match the acidity level of the wine to the acidity in your food. For fish with an acidic lemon sauce, try pairing with a similarly acidic Sauvignon Blanc. Wines contain natural tannins which have an astringent flavor. This flavor makes your mouth pucker when you drink it, and the tannins cleanse your palate of the fats from your food. Cleansing your palate leaves your sense of taste clear and ready to fully enjoy the next bite. This property of tannins as a palate cleanser is especially useful in meat and steak dishes, which are higher in fat. For white wines, acidity achieves the same effect as tannins in red wine. You may want to pair an acidic white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc with a fatty dish. Acidity will also take away from salt, so the palate cleansing nature of these wines works especially well with a salty dish. These acidic wines do not pair well with anything creamy, like an Alfredo sauce. Wine and Food pairing is an extremely personal pastime, drawing from the background, culture, and habits of each person sampling the wine. Germans might think a particular wine is dry; French are likely to find the same wine sweet. Someone brought up with spicy foods might judge a wine differently than someone brought up with potatoes and...
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