Wine sales are at an all-time high in the United States, and this increased interest in wine brings an increased desire for new and unusual wine and food pairings.

Many well-known wine and food pairs like fish and white wine or a juicy steak with a robust red follow the simple and straightforward pairing philosophy that lighter foods pair well with lighter wines and heavier foods with more structured and heavier wines. It can get more interesting if you dig deeper into the actual breakdown of components in the foods and wines that give them such synergy. One example that can illustrate this scenario is with a taste sensation called “umami.”