As we said – in the very first sentence – in the first part of this series, the one true rule of pairing food and wine is that such pairings are highly personal. The ethnic/cultural background and, specifically, the food one grew up with are influential on how taste is perceived by the individual. Someone who eats mostly spicy food will taste wine very differently from someone accustomed to more bland foods..
When you enter the differences of each individual’s taste buds into the equation you can understand that what may be a perfect pairing for one person, may not necessarily be so great to another. Rules are, at best, approximations based on the “average” person (read: “the average connoissseur,” often self-proclaimed, instead). I could find no scientific study ever conducted that definitely showed what is the “average” when it comes to taste matters. What is the point of this series, then, if the rules are subject to each individual’s preferences? That is a fair question! The answer is that all we intend to accomplish – here – is to give you, gentle reader, some departure points as you embark on your very own food and wine pairing journey. Just remember that wine should never overpower the food it accompanies but it should complement it.
Once again, winter has shown itself relentless and bombarded us with another big snowfall. Considering that wine can warm the soul and gladden the heart, considering that medical most studies now find the health benefits in drinking 2 daily glasses of wine (like the French do), isn’t this weather just right for sipping wine, especially if paired with a nice soup?
How about a Chicken Noodle Soup, paired with a Pinot Grigio or a Chennin Blanc? Perhaps a Cream of Chicken Soup with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Viognier would fit your preference? Maybe a French Onion Soup paired with a Beaujolais or a White Burgundy? Hmmmmnnn, my mouth is watering already!
Since we are only offering departure points here are some favorite pairings:
Sauvignon Blanc – Light, zesty and citrusy
White Burgundy – Goes well with salmon
Chardonnay – Perfect for rich fish dishes
Riesling – It’s lime/lemon juice flavor make it a nice complement to any fish dish
Pinot Noir – Yes, it’s a red wine, but try it with grilled fish and see what it does!
Beef or steak - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Shiraz
Lamb - Bordeaux, or almost any Red wine
Poultry - Chardonnay
Fruit – Any Sauternes, Muscat or Riesling (especially Late Harvest)
Very sweet or heavy desserts – I prefer to pair these with a Moscato d’Asti
Pizza – Chianti is the perfect choice!
This does not pretend to be an exhaustive list, it merely reflects pairings I’ve tried and liked.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!