red wine being poured into a glass with a tasty dish in the background

Wine Tasting 101

Top Restaurant Cape Town Guide to Food and Wine Pairings:

You deserve to spoil yourself! Young Café a top restaurant in Cape Town will be hosting a Food and Wine Pairing evening this coming week. If you are a little unsure on where to begin the journey of wine tasting we are here to help. As one of the best restaurants in Cape Town this will be a luxury dining experience to remember! Save your spot.

In anticipation for this exciting event we are sharing the 101 on everything you need to know for food and wine pairing! There is great joy in combining delicious food with amazing wine.

Wine Terminology

The language around wine tasting can seem a bit complicated so here are some of the key terms. Our amazing staff at Young Café will also be able to assist if you have any questions.


The process of storing the wine in wooden barrels. It is the length of time it is stored that develops the complex flavors we love in wine. Sometimes the barrel’s wood flavors can be tasted into the wine due to this. That is where an oak/oaky taste emerges.


The phenolic compounds in wines are the organic chemical reactions that happens in wine. It creates a bitter, dry, and puckered feeling in the mouth. Tannin are most commonly found in red wine. 


A wine’s body is the term that refers to the weight of the wine and used to describe the complexity of the flavors.


The nose of a wine is the tasting term used to describe the aromas and bouquets of the wine.

Tasting Notes

Each wine has what is called tasting notes. These are the flavors that stick out when tasting the wine. It is these notes that we use to choose food to accompany the wine.

For more fun wine terminology.

How Food and Wine Pairings Work

Chart showing Wine and Food pairing options
Wine and Food Pairing Chart

White wines pair well with lighter meat because they are high in acidity and offer a crisp white taste. The acids in the wine enhance the taste of the food making it taste fresher and more intense.

Red wines bring out the rich and savory flavors of any dish. Red wines hold rich flavors due to having strong tannins which makes it a great choice for red meat. The reason for this is because of its ability to soften the proteins in the meat and help enhances the flavors of the fat.

The Two Types of Wine Pairings

 There are two types of Wine Pairings Complementary and Congruent pairings.

In a complementary food and wine pairing the wine and food are chosen to balance one another often using contrasting elements. A common complementary pairing is white wine with salty dishes.

A congruent food and wine pairing on the other hand is when the food and wine chosen will share flavors. In a congruent pairing the wine and the food work to enhance the flavor of each other.

To make a booking

please send us an email on

A photo of red wine being poured into a wine glass with a delicious plate of food in the background
The best moment at a Food and Wine Pairing Event!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s