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Do you like challenges, wine, and of course, spices?  Well, in this new entry, we are introducing our Burma Spice Wine and Spices Pairing Challenge. Most people are lost when it comes to pairing spices with wine, but with this easy guide, we are going to explain, which herbs and spices match with your wine and the importance of doing it in the right way. After this, you will be a master sommelier.

Wine and Herbs Pairing

Pairing wine with spicy foods can be tricky; there are some factors to take into account such as aroma, flavor, type of food, how spicy the dish is, and the type of wine. The key is to find balance and avoid the taste of wine to overpower the flavors of the dish, and more importantly, enhance the wine and the food.

Before start learning how to pair spices, herbs, and wine, it is essential to know that the sweetness of a wine is determined by the amount of sugar, alcohol content and natural compounds called tannins. These compounds come typically from the skins, stems, and seeds of the grapes or the wooden barrels they are stored in; in fact, red wines like Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon,  have more tannins than the other wines because they remain fermented with the elements of the grape for a longer period, while white wines have much lower tannin and it’s due to the oak barrels. 

The magic behind pairing starts with aroma compounds and the taste profile; 

Probably you have noticed that some wines have cloves, cinnamon, star anise notes and it is not a coincidence; these flavors are imparted into the wine through the oak fermentation or aging, or from the variety of grapes used in the process.  On the other hand, there are wines with peppery notes; the responsible for adding the peppery taste is a compound called rotundone, an important aroma compound with strong spicy peppercorn notes; thanks to this compound it is possible to pair wines and spices according to the aroma and the light spiciness taste of the wine.

Curious fact: rotundone is the most powerful aroma compound found in black and white peppercorns

As Fred R. Barnard once said, “a picture is worth ten thousand words,” so here is an infographic with different spices and herbs pairing with wine.

The congruent pairing theorythe main idea is to “ find balance by amplifying shared flavor compounds” Wine Folly.

wine and spice pairing infographic

Next time you will be able to pair European, South Asian, Middle Eastern or African cuisines with the right wine, just like a master sommelier. 

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