“Unpacking” your meal helps you decide how you want to balance your dish with your wine. Is your dish predominantly light -- a simple sushi roll, or an oyster? Is it predominantly heavy -- a rich, cream based dish? Does the bitterness of the arugula in your salad overpower the tanginess of the vinaigrette?
When you’ve figured out the dominant component, ask yourself whether you want to point out the similarities between food and wine, e.g. highly acidic wine with a highly acidic food like lime-doused ceviche. Or do you want to play them off each other, by, for instance, pairing a sweeter Riesling with salty fried chicken? Provided you follow these basic pairing principles, going with Riesling means the world is yours. And so is the chicken.
Cappie says: “The acidity comes into play big time there. It acts as a balance. It’s like adding lemon juice to fried fish. It adds that bite. Instead of your mouth feeling weighed down by the fat of the food and feeling like it’s coated, it comes in and cleans it all up and gets you ready for the next bite. And by doing so enhances the flavor of the next bite because your mouth is refreshed and ready to try something else.”