The Art of Wine Pairing

Elevate Your Sip & Savor Experience

By Mallory Ambrose | October 10, 2023

Wine has long been celebrated as a beverage that transcends mere drinking; it’s an experience, an art form, and a cultural touchstone. One of the most captivating aspects of wine appreciation is the art of pairing it with food, elevating your culinary encounters to new heights.

Wine pairing is a captivating interplay of flavors, where the right combination can create a harmonious and unforgettable dining experience. It is an art that marries science with personal preference and mastering it can significantly enhance your enjoyment of both food and wine.

Businesses can drive beverage sales through curated guest experiences with wine pairing through IMI Manage PAIRINGS™.

The Basics

Wine pairing is all about finding the perfect complement between flavors of a dish and the characteristics of a specific wine varietal. The overall goal is to enhance the dining experience by bringing in the best of both. To embark on this journey, it’s essential to understand several basic principles.

Balance of Intensity

The intensity of your wine should match the intensity of your dish. For example, delicate white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, pair beautifully with light seafood or salads, while robust red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are better suited for hearty, red meat dishes.

Acidic Harmony

Aim to balance the acidity of the dish and wine. The acidity within the wine should match or slightly surpass the acidity in the food. High-acid wines, such as Riesling, work well with dishes that boast a high acidity, think salads or dishes with citrus elements. Meanwhile, creamy sauces complement fuller-bodied wines like Chardonnay.

Flavor Synergy

 Seek complementary flavors, where the flavors in the wine enhance those in a dish. For instance, a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc can elevate the flavors of a citrusy seafood ceviche, while a fruity Merlot might bring out the best in a tomato-based pasta dish.

Taming Tannins

It’s important to consider tannins when it comes to wine pairing. Tannic red wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon, go hand-in-hand with fatty meats because the tannins cut through the richness of the dish, cleansing your palate with each sip.

Regional Pairings

When starting with the basics of wine pairing regional pairings are often a smart way to go. Typically, wines from a specific region pair beautifully with dishes originating from the same area. Think Italian Chianti with pasta or French Bordeaux with a classic steak.

Once you have grasped the basics, experiment with contrasting pairings. A sparkling wine’s effervescence can enhance the flavors of fried food, while a spicy Shiraz can complement the heat of a dish. Factor in sauce selections and texture. Creamy dishes pair beautifully with oaked Chardonnays, while crisp wines contrast with crunchy, fried foods.

Remember that wine pairing is also about personal preference. If a pairing delights your taste buds, it’s a success, even if it defies conventional pairing norms.

The art of wine pairing is a journey of discovery, a symphony of flavors, and an invitation to savor life’s pleasures. It’s about expanding your palate, experimenting with combinations, and creating unforgettable moments with each sip and bite. So, whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a novice, embrace your culinary adventures.

Here is a tool to help you and your staff expertly pair wine and your food offerings! Need help? Reach out to us at …we’re happy to assist!

Drive Your Beverage Sales through Curated Guest Experiences with IMI Manage PAIRINGS™

IMI Agency’s IMI Manage Suite™ provides a variety of beverage program focused technology platforms, of which includes their IMI Manage PAIRINGS™ application.

The IMI Manage Wine Pairing App features include:

  • Create wine pairings in as little as four clicks.
  • Tasting notes and details about the pairings with each result.
  • Embedded videos about the wine.
  • Wine tier options available (Standard, Premium, etc.)
  • Preferred tag options to identify the best possible pairing.
  • Works great on any device, mobile responsive.
  • Increase beverage revenues by helping to identify higher tier wines.
  • Provides a better beverage experience for your guests.


“Our Wine Pairing Tool is a mobile friendly online application created to easily and effectively assist your staff by providing the best possible pairing options from the beverage program for your guests.

 In as little as four clicks, your staff will have access to information on pairings such as tasting notes and additional details about the product.

 This tool makes food and wine pairing a fun and interactive experience.”

To request a demo or learn more information about IMI Manage PAIRINGS™ visit IMI Manage Suite™.