Many of the questions we get from blog readers concern food and wine pairing. It’s a welcome trend that more and more people seem to be interested in having the best dining experience possible by matching up the “right” wine with the “right” dish.
Here’s a question that recently was posed: “Two of our favorite things to eat are ham and olives, but we haven’t had much success pairing them up with wine. Do you have any suggestions?”
We do! With both of the foods mentioned, salt is the “enemy.” Salt may help bring the flavors of food to life, but when you try to drink a low-acid wine—such as Cabernet Sauvignon—with it, the wine will taste dull…if you can get much flavor out of it at all. The same holds true for Zinfandel, Merlot and most other reds.
The solution is to match salty dishes with wines possessing higher acidity levels. That means mostly whites—such as Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc—as well as rosé-style wines. In fact, a rosé makes a great choice because it often will have the flavors you love in red wines, accompanied by the acidity needed to complement the saltiness of the food.
Another go-to choice: sparkling wine.
When you’re eating a salty dish, what’s your wine of choice? We’d love to read your thoughts, which may be posted in the Comments box below.