Pairing Wine and Food
What’s the best way to become an expert on pairing food and wine? Certainly not by studying boring grids and memorizing long, dull lists, but by tasting, sipping, tasting, and sipping. And tasting and sipping.
We’ve heard it millions of times; red wine goes with red meat and white wine goes with white meat or fish. There is some basis to this theory. But it wasn't until one chilly, fall evening when I bit into a juicy New York Strip steak, hot off the grill, followed by a gulp of California Cab that I saw the light. Until I actually tasted the two together, it never really clicked. The steaks fatty juices softened the heavy tannins in the wine, letting its ripe fruit flavors take center stage. Those same fruity flavors then highlighted the smoky, grilled meat flavors. It was that night I understood that this truly was a match made in heaven.
There are three general approaches to pairing food and wine. You can bridge the flavors, complement the flavors, or contrast the flavors. For each of your meetings, I’ll give you recipes that provide three memorable cases in point. For example in June, you’ll see how the using Riesling a recipe bridges the flavor between the food and the wine tasting. You’ll notice how Riesling’s slightly sweet taste complements the sweet teriyaki glaze, and how it contrasts the heat you’ll feel from the wasabi.
My recipes are so easy that even a rookie to the kitchen can make them. Pick up a copy of The Wine Club for lists of “no-cook” alternatives, such as cheese, pretzels, popcorn, and other ready-made items that are super easy to serve up and complement a variety of different wines. That way, you can combine homemade dishes with no-cook options to keep your gatherings simple.