Monday, March 4, 2013

A small conversation on the Taste, Texture and Weight of food while matching wines

What is it about wine and food that sometimes can be so earth shattering! It's probably because the parallels between food and wine are endless. In the same way the method of cooking used, as with winemaking techniques can influence flavors and textures. The way food is cooked has a huge effect on the way it will taste. It doesn’t have to be a puzzle. Basically…fast, hot and dry conserves taste and slow, moderate and moist cooking exaggerates flavors.

Here's a secret...
When it comes to pairing wines the general rule is that foods prepared in a light method of cooking like poaching or steaming usually requires a fruity lightly acidic wine rather than a tannic one.

As we think this through; the essential methods of cooking are steaming, poaching, and boiling, stir-frying, deep-frying, braising casseroling, stewing, grilling and roasting.
Cooking methods exude the food’s weight and texture which is what creates the variables of taste. Weight is the heaviness of the dish.  For example Osso Bucco is more substantial than salad. You may have put the same seasonings in both but they will each require different wine to compliment it.

Now texture is totally different than weight.  You need to think about the mouthfeel of the wine. Is it smooth? Is it supple? Does it feel like glycerin? Does it grip your teeth or make your mouth pucker (the tannins)? Is it light and crisp? Is there acidity?

Here is a short list on taste, weight and texture to contemplate:

Acidic and Fishy foods– Acidic wines, aromatic, fruity and off dry whites, full bodied reds

Oily and fatty foods – Acidic wines or non-tannin reds

Salty foods – Low tannin reds ; sweet whites

Smoked foods – Spicy reds or oaked, rich and fruity whites

Spicy foods –  Whites with sugar and light acidity, fruity young reds

Regardless of this short list; there is always the technique of comparing textures to see what the food will taste like. Just to see how the tastes blend. Sometimes it turns out just as effective.








Book Review - The Billionaire’s Vinegar 2009 – Benjamin Wallace

The Billionaire’s Vinegar 2009– Benjamin Wallace

The best wine book right now that can be made into a great movie. The whole Thomas Jefferson wine bottle story is an engaging yarn; kind of Hitchcock-ian. You can see where Michael Broadbent could have gotten a little touchy because it does paint him as a scandalous figure. Today wine fraud is in the news regularly. I hear Johnny Depp may star.