Despite the increased sales of wine in Korea, fewer Koreans consume wine with Korean food, although many Koreans believe that Western food pairs well with wine. This could reduce wine consumption in Korea and critically influence the future growth of the Korean wine market. Therefore, this study aims to develop Korean food and wine pairing criteria by examining the adaptability of food and wine pairing guidelines to the Korean palate. This exploratory study uses sequential mixed methods. The qualitative study was done by performing 12 one-on-one interviews and one focus group interview. The characteristics influencing Korean food and wine pairing were identified from the qualitative study. The quantitative study was followed by a survey of Korean wine consumers. Of the 151 questionnaires distributed, 138 valid responses were received. The qualitative results were tested and showed the following outcomes: spiciness, strong flavors, and hot food temperature were identified as three specific characteristics that hinder wine pairing. Although wine-friendly Korean dishes did not commonly include those features. Koreans’ daily diet has influenced their different wine preference. A segment of Korean wine consumers enjoy the burning sensation in the mouth and prefer to match tannic red wine to spicy dishes. As a result, nine criteria of Korean food and wine pairing were developed. Among them, two criteria were newly identified from this research, and are the main focus of this study: wine with an oak flavor pairs well with food that has a soy sauce flavor; and dry, tannic wine can be paired with spicy dishes.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited