That tart, sour taste in a sip of wine? That’s its acidity. All wines are acidic, falling somewhere between 2.5 – 4.5 on the ph scale, and their level of acidity affects how they pair with your meal.
Acidic wines generally pair well with most flavors. They work with rich, creamy foods, as the acidity “cuts through” the richness. They work well with other acidic foods, such as something with citrus fruits or tomatoes.
With fish and fried foods the acid in the wine is particularly welcome. Think of a fish and chips. One normally puts vinegar on their chips and a squeeze of lemon on their fish. As such, an acidic wine compliments the dish in the same way, with the acid helping to cut the salty taste.
One pairing to avoid would be low-acid wines with highly acidic foods. If eating a citrussy ceviche, a low-acid red would fall flat.
Read more: A fortunate accident: how the British discovered Port wine