pair wine with food

Sugar Baby Education 101: Wine & Food Pairing

When you are an SB, it is important for you to play the part in your SD’s life, meaning be well educated about things and have proper etiquette and KNOW your wine… or have at least an idea about wine and food paring.

 So here, my hoes a little basic overview (if want to learn more about wine, just google that shit out!)


Just like adding milk into coffee will change its texture and taste; food when interacting with wine will affect its flavor. Different ingredients and preparation methods will bring out different taste sensations with the same bottle of wine.

There are a lot of pairing guidelines, but only one universal pairing principle –

A good pairing is when the food and wine do not overshadow each other. Wine and food can complement or contrast each other, as long as they do not mask each other’s unique flavor and characteristics.

Factors to Consider when Pairing

When pairing food, you are really complementing or contrasting four elements. The way the dish is prepared and cooked will affect these elements:

Body/ weight: heavy, medium, or light-body?
Flavor intensity: weak, moderate, strong?
Aroma: earthy, fruity, grassy, or herbal?
Taste: sweet, spicy, acidic, sour, bitter?

Example 1: Most people prefer pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with steaks because they are both full-bodied, strong flavor, and the protein in the meat will soften the tannin in the wine. A venturing wine lover may pair a red steak with a full-bodied white Roussanne.

Example 2: With spicy, strong flavor Thai dishes, the classic gourmets would go for a Riesling. Its neutrality will complement Thai cuisine’s spices. Its acidity and med bodied will match the weight of the food. A venturing wine lover may pair with Gewurztraminer or Marsanne.

Our Favorite Wine and Food Pairings:

It is not always white wine with white meat… Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chianti are few handful reds that pair well with chicken. Below we have listed our favorite pairings as a good starting point:

Western Dishes:

Chicken – Full-bodied whites (Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc) or light reds (Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Rioja, Chianti)
Foie Gras / Pate - Sweet whites (Sauternes, Riesling Spatlese, Tokaji)
Green Salad – Herby whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Vinho Verde)
Grilled Fish – Light to medium bodied whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Chablis)
Pasta (red sauce) – acidic reds (Barbera, Chianti, Zinfandel / Primitivo, Valpolicella)
Pasta (white sauce) – fuller bodied whites (Chardonnay, Viognier, Gavi, Pinot Gris)
Pizza - Sparkling or a fruity red (Prosecco, Barbera, Dolcetto, Valpolicella)
Raw or steamed shellfish – Crisp, acidic wines (Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis)
Steak – Full-bodied red (Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Barolo)

Asian Cuisines:

Chinese – Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir
Japanese Sushi – Beaujolais, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling
Spicy Thai / Indian Curry – Viognier, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Rousanne

Cheese:

Creamy soft brie or camembert – Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, dry Riesling
Strong goat cheese – Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, Pouilly-Fume
Hard / Aged cheese – Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Brunello, Dolcetto, Merlot, white Burgundy
Semi-hard cheese – Semillon, Rioja
Smoked cheese – Gewurztraminer, Sauternes, Shiraz
Blue cheese – Sauternes, Banyuls, Port, Late harvest wines, Madeira, Amarone;

Last but not least, some PAIRING TIPS:

Acidic wines go well with many dishes. Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling, Chianti are great examples. In addition, acidic wines make salty dishes appear less salty.
For fatty food such as foie gras, try Sauternes (an equally rich and intense wine).
For spicy food, try fruity, low-alcohol wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
Sweet food goes well with a bottle that is slightly sweeter.

Pair complex food with a simple wine. And pair simple food with a complex wine.

What a good question Hibiki, how do you make curry?

Well really it’s pretty simple. You start with all your ingredients..

Which are, onions, carrors, potatoes, beef, some garlic, a bit of red wine, and of course your spices. Since I’m making a Japanese style curry I’m actually using Port since it’s a bit sweet, and Japanese curry is much sweeter than other curries. 

I might have forgotten to take pictures of the in between steps. I browned the beef, took it out, then sauteed the onions in the pot. Once they were translucent I added the meat back in and poured in some port to deglaze the pot. After you let the alcohol burn off, you throw in the vegetables then add whatever kind of stock you are using. You should let the curry simmer now, and not use a flame thrower to speed up the process :p

One of the most important parts of curry is having a good roux. All a roux is, is some flour that is browned in butter, with the curry spices. Typically you would just buy this at your local asian market, but regrettably I’m intolerant of gluten so I get to make it by hand. 

Once the roux has browned a bit, you add the spices in and stir it into your curry once it is done cooking. You give it a good stir and let the roux thicken up the curry and give it a really nice texture. Now that the curry is pretty much done, it is pretty common to grate in some apple to give it a bit of sweetness. I chose to add apricot preserve here at the end. It basically does the same thing. Doesn’t it look good?

And there is the final product. If you hadn’t figured it out yet, I’m a fan of wine, so of course I paired a wine with my curry. I chose a sweeter Riesling to go with it. I think a lot of people would chose a light to medium red wine, which wouldn’t be wrong, but a very light sweet white wine is actually an excellent pair with a lot of spicy Asian cuisine. The sweetness of the wine cuts into the spiciness of the curry and leaves a very pleasant flavour behind. 


So there you go, that’s how you make curry!

© Con Poulos

Wine Wednesday: Try this over-the-top grilled cheese with a dry rosé. Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red; yet almost all pair well with dry rosé, which has the acidity of white wine and the fruit character of red.

Recipe: Triple-Decker Baked Italian Cheese Sandwiches

Inside the Boston Wine School, Jonathon Alsop places empty glasses and plate of figs and cheese before a small group of students. Alsop, who founded the school in 2000, is doing a test run of a new class that poses the question: What would Jesus drink?

He opens a red blend from Lebanon. “This is something that citizens in biblical times would not have been acquainted with – the screw cap,” he jokes.

Alsop founded the school 14 years ago and has taught food and wine classes on everything from pairing wine with meat to tasting the wines of Tuscany. Alsop came up with this latest idea after reading the Gospels.

“This picture of Jesus as a foodie and a wine lover, slowly but surely, starts to emerge. I mean, his first miracle was turning water into wine,” he says.

As Alsop opens a bottle of Italian wine, he explains to his students that the wine they are sampling bears little, if any, resemblance to wine during Christ’s time.

“It’s clean. It’s clear. It’s in a bottle,” says Alsop, holding up the wine glass and examining it. “These wines were shipped around the Mediterranean in ceramic or wood casks; they would have taken on that flavor. This is almost certainly different.”

What Would Jesus Drink? A Class Exploring Ancient Wines Asks

Image credit: Joseph Martin Kronheim/Kean Collection/Getty Images

Now, most people have been super psyched to go skiing and venture out into white powder, since before we even arrived, but can we talk about how the hotel has two heated loungers in the ‘relax room?’ I don’t think people realize just how amazing all of the wellness rooms are around here. Sauna, caldarium, steam room… I think I’m in fucking heaven! Pair that all with the food, the wine, the company and just yes. So much yes. I’ll get around to skiing before we leave, but until then, I’m going to continue to gorge myself on all things delicious and sweat like it’s my job.