Wine For Thought: Wine & Dine !!!
wine & dine
There are few dinning experiences more nerve – racking than the aproach of the guilded and snooty Sommelier, with the leather-bound wine bible and the shine of golden grapes adorning the lapel . The sensation of ……….., talking to someone who talks to you about wines as if you should be blessed to here the grape gospel from the lips of a Bordeaux Bishop,a Rhone valley Reverend.Thank Bacchus that this particular stereotype is fortunatelly becoming a thing of the past !
Not the existence of wine professionals in restaurants ,but more the arrogance that come with that position. wine & dinewine & dine
The truth is ,for those that enjoy the wine ( Im talking to you dear restaurant goer ) there is gray area that consist of generally accepted missinformation and a lack of understanding of just how profound the relationship between wine and food is and more importantly how they can elevate and improve or distort each other. wine & dinewine & dine
Lets talk about the ” usual ” information ! The most common one being that red=red meat ,white wine = white meat / fish and rose is for picknic and girls ! DEEP BREATH;
Red Wine : OK yes , it is true that the right red wine is the perfect pairing for the right cut of read meat ,be it Ongles steak or a rack of Lamb, the perfect red wine can either enhance the meat or vice-versa make the wine pop. Anything from a robust Saint Josepf (Syrah,Sira) from the Norten Rhone to a Palazzo della Torre ( Corvina Veronese ,Rondinella & Sangiovese ) from Verona can play with as an aromatic to enhance the spices and aromas of the elaboration of the meat in case of the former ( Sant Joseph ) or add dimensions and mature fruit to the flavour of the meat like with the latter ( Pallazo de la Torre ) .But what if I told you that you can have red wine with fish and chicken ( I know,I know ,some of you have already been there done that ) or crazier still a cream based curry ?
push the boat further , how about with a dark chocolate dessert ( try with 80% dark chocolate flourless cake or coulant ;))
This is where your Sommelier can be helpfull ,ask him for non – typical pairing ,ask him t0 challenge himself to not only give him a chance to apply the knowelege he has but also to challenge yourself . Very Important Though :Be sure to mention your budget !!! We the wine people tend to forget prices if we asked for something interesting or exeptional.
White Wine : Look Ma, Im having fish/chicken ,better crack out the whites then .Well sure ……if you happy taking a walk on the mild side , go for it, play it safe !
OR,try this instead :
Smoked Salmon or Salmon en croute? Central Otago Pinot Noir or a dry Cabernet dominant rose .Roast Chicken ? …..well ok cant lie that: a big oaked Chardonay or Viognier isnt amazing with chicken ,but try Cava or Champagne with it and it is also wonderfull ( try them with fish & chips for a surprisingly great combo ) want to throw a red at the roas small game ? will stick to those elegant and fruty Pinot Noir or if you are feeling adventurous ,try a Valpolicella Ripasso to give the wine equivalent of a fruit sauce to the meal . Try and Remember Thought : If you are serving food with an acidic profile ,avoid acidic wines at all cost .Acidity plays really well with salty or fatty or sweet ,but can become your worst enemy when other acid are present in your dish .
When ordering your wine at Le Local Eaterie ,remember that the best information you can give the Sommelier/ Wine waiter is what grape varieties you LIKE so that he/she can best ajust his recommendations,but also avoid closing yourself off to varieties that you do not know very well or that you might think that you do not like because maybe the Sommelier can guide you towards an expression of that grape that you havent tried and might LOVE .
And more importantly ,that the reason you might not have been so fond of that variety is because you have never tried pared with the correct food . Wine is a journey of a thousand routes and each one changes year after year , but also each route has a way to make the journey more beautifull you just need the right transport
Another great way is to consider asking for wines by the glass ,and the simple reason for it is whilst you might love your Barossa Valley Shiraz ,maybe it isnt the best pairing for your first course Oysters or second course Trout Foam on a bed of seaweed jelly. In this situation the wine by the glass or by the garafe can be the key , allowing you to a glass of your favorite before and after the meal but being able to pair the subsequent glasses of sommething different to best enjoy the course at hand .