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Friday, July 25, 2014

Wine and Food Pairing--It can be Simple

Some People Want to Make it Complicated

Remember how you used to think sex was complicated? Later you figured out it's really pretty simple. When it comes to wine & food matching there's not really that much you need to know. Oh, there's been billions of words written on food/wine pairing by gobs of experts. (This post is not written by an expert, btw). Is there really any way to know the nuances of every wine you might buy and know exactly how to prepare a certain meal to match it? I mean, do I need a different wine for the meat, the potatoes, and the vegetable? Well, I'm not going to do that and neither is anyone else I know. Life's already too complicated!

The Basic Law of Wine and Food Pairing

If you take a great meal and have a mediocre wine with it, overall you have a mediocre meal. If you take an average meal and add a great wine you have a great meal.

Extreme Examples

Let's say you go out to the nicest restaurant in town. You order their fresh seafood of the day, their best steak, or maybe a nice pork tenderloin. Pair that with White Zinfandel and see how the meal works out.

Or let's say you grill up some Safeway hamburger and put it on you basic white bun with your basic condiments. Now open up a ten year old notable Cabernet you've been saving. You've just created that special event! And those burgers will taste pretty good.

Pairing by Quality

Okay, you're not likely to do either, but you get the idea. Always upgrade the wine. If you've got $60 to spend on the meal don't spend $50 on food and $10 on the wine. Make it more like $30 each.

Notice there's been no mention of, "Serve white wine with this and red wine with that." It's not as important to having a quality wine. Not saying you can't have an inexpensive bottle of wine; just saying it won't be as memorable of a meal.