History of Food Pairing

Wine and food pairing is a very interesting concept. You cannot just pick a bottle of any wine and pair it with any food you find on your table. It takes thorough consideration to find a perfect match.  That’s why we are going to look at the history of food and wine pairing and know how the pairing came about.

Early History

Wine was considered to be very clean compared to the untreated drinking water of those days. At this point pairing was not a big deal and people could take wine with any type of food. However, with time, pairing ideas began to emerge since different regions were specializing in different types of foods and wines.

Taking Bordeaux for instance, the city was well known for lamb and as a result lamb dishes paired with their wines. The winemakers of different regions were also focused on producing the type of wine that would be perfect for their foods. That also led to the emergence of the different types of wine that we see today. That’s why you may feel an acidic taste on a certain type of wine unless you pair it with what it was meant to go with.

Modern Evolution of Pairing ideas

With the emergence of international trade as well as easy access to food and wine, people also got to try out different combinations of wines and foods. This process also led to the discovery of more and more pairings between the flavors in the food and wine. You now find many restaurants having criteria that help their customers acquire the right pair for the wines or foods they order.

Rules for Pairing of Wines

Gone are the days when wine would only pair perfectly with a specific region’s delicacies. Rules for pairing wines are cropping up every now and then, though they are not meant to be permanent because it all depends on personal experience. Some of these rules include:

  • White wines are likely to pair well with highly acidity foods.
  • Wines whose alcohol volumes are low would pair well with spicy foods.
  • Tannic red wines would pair well with richer red meat.
  • It would be better to pair wine with a white meat’s sauce and not with the meat.
  • Lighter foods would pair perfectly with lighter wines while heavier foods would pair perfectly with heavier wines.
  • It would be better to pair sweeter foods with sweeter wines.
  • A spicy dish like a Thai dish would pair well with a spicy wine such as Riesling.

This is not the limit of wine pairing. You can still go beyond the rules and find a perfect pair suitable for your own personal experience.

Having looked at the history of wine and food pairing and the few rules, below is a history of food pairings that are worth considering.

1. Bacon, Cheese and Eggs

The discovery of this food pairing was after the occurrence of the civil war. The three were taken together before then and the American pioneers would always prefer sandwich for breakfast. On top of this trip, you can also decide to add cheese or even bread to make it perfect as well as complete.

2. Cookies and Milk

This combination was brought about after the invention of refrigeration. One could always feel like dipping a warm piece of cookie into a glass of ice-cold milk and this would pair very nicely.

3. Peanut Butter and Chocolate

This is also another common combination, which came about in Pennsylvania in 1917. A man by the name Harry Burnett Reese became an employee of Hershey factory to support his family. After his success, in Hershey factory, he opened up his own place and started selling combinations of his own. Among them was the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

4. Sea Salt and Caramel

This discovery came about in 2008 when Haagen-Dazs introduced an ice cream flavored with caramel and sea salt. Afterwards, this combination has become very popular and it is very rare to find someone taking any of the two independently. The sweet and salty snack really complement each other.

5. Donuts and Coffee

The discovery of this delicious, delicate and sugary combination was in 1948. It was at the time when doughnut was declared as breakfast food when people began taking it with coffee. Ever since, it has been a very common combination.

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