5 Food and Wine Basics, By Tod Kawachi, St. Supéry Estate Chef

There are some important elements to consider when pairing wine with food. These key basics will give you an understanding of how your sense of taste and seasoning can bring wine and food together harmoniously.


There are 5 basic tastes that your palate can detect and in varying degrees.

These tastes are as follows:

Salt or sodium, brings out flavor of food, and softens tannic wines.

Sweet or sugar balances sour and works to tone down spicy foods. Sweet wine should be sweeter than the food.
St. Supéry Napa Valley Estate Moscato, which has some sweetness to it is our go to favorite with spicy Asian dishes and curries.

Sour, acid brings out fruit and richness in wine, cuts through rich fatty foods, helps tame bitter tannins. Too much will make wine seem flat.

Bitter, tannins in food will increase perception of bitter in red wine.

Umami is defined as savory like the flavors of broth and cooked meats. It is the “Deliciousness” in meats, seafood, cheese, aged wines. Too much umami in a dish clashes  with tannic reds.

Other flavor influencers to consider:

Fat or oil is the richness in food and helps offset tannic dry wines. Think pairing cabernet sauvignon with ribeye steak.

Spice or heat brings out a hot burning finish to dry wines, works well with sweeter, low alcohol wines.

When you first sip the wine, then taste the food and then take another sip of wine, there is a cause and effect that occurs which influences your perception of taste. Properly seasoned food, along with well-balanced St. Supéry wines help to create a wonderful perfect pairing experience.

July 8, 2021

Categories: Uncategorized

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