Food and Wine pairing.

Just read an interesting blog post by Jason Wilson from the Washington Post discussing whether pairing wine and food is really something we need to be doing, or if it’s just a bunch of baloney. It’s a good read no matter what side of the gastro-vineyard fence you are on.


(Apologies for not putting hyperlinks, I’m doing this from Blackberry, so I’ll fix it when I’m next to a proper werkstätion.)

As I am unable to comment on the blog from a mobile browser, I’d like to offer my two cents to Mr. Wilson.

Dear Sir,

Let me first say I enjoyed reading your post, and it inspired me enough to type all of this on a BlackBerry, risking catastrophic carpal tunnel collapse.

First off, I’m no wine snob. I’ll drink from a bottle of Penfold’s Bin 2 just as readily as an Opus One (though I would try not to spill my wine dancing around, happy to be drinking this bad-ass booze). I don’t follow any dogmas about what meats pair with what wine, e.g. said Opus One was happily consumed with a dinner of (really good) fish and chips. But I appreciate people (and Pixarian rodents)with advanced palates who can break down why they love the flavors of fine foods so much. If they say a certain wine has characteristics that complement a certain type of cuisine, then I’ll listen. I think the bold red wine/grilled red meat thing has merit, and certain cheeses do seem to fare better (or worse) with my favorite Sauvignon Blanc (St. Clair, NZ, FTW). Dismissing the logic of some foods go better with some wines than others and vice versa (if that’s a suggestion I’m picking up from your post) feels to me a bit, well, wrong. IMHO.

The statistic indicating most frequent wine drinkers aren’t consuming with meals may be true, but doesn’t 60% mean roughly 1 in 3 partakings is with a meal? The other two maybe to unwind at home, meeting for a second date, out of a paper bag on the street corner, etc., but perhaps not as forlorn a habit as Mr. Yarrow suggested (1:8, or something like how many people use hotmail vs gmail, or maybe read vs only watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy). Or maybe there is a reasoning behind the adjusted ratio I am not aware of that you could help explain.

All that said, I largely agree with Yarrow on the fundamental falsehoods of wine and food pairings, though think Lie #2 has a shade of truth. Perhaps it would be better to say that “There are certain foods you probably shouldn’t pair with certain wines, and there are also some pairings that seem to work well for a lot of people. It’s up to you how passionately you want to feel either way about it.”

Of course, I may have just revealed myself a complete neophyte when it comes to wine. At least I will have made a fool of myself on my own blog instead of yours. (Though I do wish I could read the other responses.)

Okay, hand starting to cramp. Hope to hear something back from you.


PS: Please forgive my formality in the salutation if it seemed like I was going to elegantly troll you. I am always uncertain how to address it. Let me assure you I’ve never been accused of being a troll (or elegant for that matter).


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