What is wine’s secret weapon? What makes it join so well with food? Tony Porcellini will tell you wine’s acidity is the key to its love affair with food. Acidity is like a turbocharger for flavor and in such, makes your mouth water. When your mouth waters, the enzymes in your saliva break down the food unlocking the flavors, making the food taste better.
Chefs know the secret of acidity. It is no accident that nearly every famous sauce uses some acidic ingredient to enhance flavors: wine, vinegar, tomatoes, mustard, and lemon juice. Examples would include using lime with Mexican and pickled ginger with Thai food and sushi.
I think we understand the benefits of acidity without thinking about it. We squeeze lemon on fish, put pickles on a hamburger, and Worcestershire sauce on a steak.
Thanks to acidity, wine is the beverage for food.
A few simple pairings from Andrea Immer Robinson:
Potluck supper – Beaujolais
Saturday stir-fry – Pinot Grigio
Backyard barbecue – Red Zinfandel
Fridge leftovers – Chianti
PS. Do not forget our friend Riesling!
Hoosier Wine Guy