Wine Pairing (v.)tasting term
This is part of a series called Wine Words, a glossary in the works that breaks down the barrier between those in the wine know and those who have no idea what the hell everyone's talking about. A new word posts once a week, covering everything from a grape name or region, to a winemaking or tasting term.
Wine Pairing (v.) Tasting Term
This past weekend, I taught a wine and food pairing class in Florence, Alabama through the University of North Alabama Continuing Education program and The Carriage Wine & Market, with delicious small bites by Chef Josh Quick of Odette to pair with the wines. Preparation for the class got me thinking more deeply than usual about wine and food pairing, and as a result I've found myself paying even closer attention to what I'm consuming.
Wine is food, designed by nature to be consumed with food, and when well-matched, the two can entice flavors not easily detected on their own, taking us through a sensory experience that improves mood, makes amends, closes business deals and keeps families together. While the potential to be intimidating is ever present, the practice of pairing wine and food is essential and common, even if we're not actively pursuing a match. There is a celebrated approach to food and wine pairing - drink what you like - and of course you can do so. But it's a lazy route and, more important, pretty much nixes any opportunity of reaching that exalted state of culinary perfection, that ethereal ecstasy which can change lives. Or at the very least, a glorious moment in time etched into memory.
Wine and food pairing is kind of an American thing, if only because our wine growing years are relatively young and our cuisine widely varied. In European wine growing countries, the match is dictated by the traditional foods of the region. What grows together, goes together, as the saying goes. And since so much of what we eat at home and in restaurants are derivative of those Old World cuisines, it's not a bad mantra to live by.
Wine pairing can be approached by matching texture and weight, complimenting or contrasting flavors and even by age. I could write for pages on each of these, but for the sake of space and attention spans, I've condensed and organized it into a lovely little PDF for you to have and to hold, forever and ever.
Click the button below, enter your email address and I'll zip you an email ASAP with the download link. Cheers!