General Wine and Food Relationships

There are several consistent food and wine element relationships in these classic marriages.
First, there are several examples of matching food texture to wine texture. In Bordeaux, fattiness in lamb is matched with the tannins in these predominately Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The richness of foie gras works with the richness of Sauternes due to the palate-cleansing qualities inherent in this crisp, sweet wine.
Similar to the red Bordeaux and lamb match, the Tuscan combination Bistecca alla Fiorentina and Chianti matches food fattiness to tannin as well as body to body based on the cooking method employed for the food (grilling).
Second, there are several examples of food and wine matches that use a flavor match: the earthy flavors in Coq au Vin with those of a red Burgundy, the earthy/intense flavors of dishes made with white truffle paired with intense wines using Nebbiolo grapes, and the buttery flavors in California Chardonnay matched with similar flavors of butter-dipped Dungeness crabmeat.
The impact of wine acidity is highlighted in a number of situations. Tangy foods paired with crisp white wines are an acid-to-acid match in marriages such as Sancerre with goat cheese. And the acidity of German or Alsatian Riesling is a contrast to the fattiness in pork and other meat dishes.
Port wine matched with Stilton cheese provides a classic example of a contrasting match, with the sweetness of the Port standing out against the salty character of the cheese.
All in all, these marriages indicate that there are substantial differences in the type of matches in different locales, whether Old World or New World. But there appear to be some consistent relationships in the perception of match among components, texture, and flavors that crosses cultural boundaries.

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