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Thursday 04/24/08 - Wine Merchants

Today's Wine Merchants Article

Demystifying the wine and food marriages

Living the Good Life by Jim& Della Bogaty owners Veramar Vineyard, Berryville, VA

Demystifying the wine and food marriages -- There is a pair for you!

Wine and food pairing is a highly subjective and should be fun. There is little mystique behind the marriage between wines and food, but there is some basic compatibility issues- just like people marriages. Wine brings pleasure with any food. Many types of wines can match with many a dish. People all have different palates, cultures and inclinations. Everyone can and will find their own wine and food combinations-- a pair that they will love.

Wine & food matching suggestions
You are more likely to hear food and wine pairing suggestions rather than hard and fast rules. There's considerable room for experimentation and expression of your own personality in pairing wine and food. If you want to talk "rules" of wine and food pairing, the standard is red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat. However, rules are meant to be broken. Wine is fun and drink what you like is always the best rule. Having said that, there are some general guidelines you may find helpful when selecting a wine to enhance your meal for that perfect marriage.

Think of wine as if it was a condiment it should compliment the food. Chardonnay works beautifully with fish because you are matching light to light. Otherwise a full-bodied, heavier wine will overpower a light, delicate dish, and similarly, a lighter style wine will not even register on your flavour meter if you sip it with a hearty steak or roast.

Wine action vs. food reaction
When you drink wine by itself it tastes one way, but when you take a bite of food, the wine tastes different. This is because wine is like a spice. Elements in the wine interact with the food to provide a different taste sensation. Sweet Foods like Italian tomato sauce and honey-mustard glazes make your wine seem drier than it really is, so try an off-dry (slightly sweet) wine to balance the flavour (Riesling or a white blend). Acid Foods like fish served with a squeeze of lemon go well with wines higher in acid (Seyval Blanc, Pinot Grigio). Bitter and Astringent Foods like a mixed green salad of bitter greens and charbroiled meats accentuate a wine's bitterness so complement it with a full-flavoured forward fruity wine like a Cabernet Franc. Big tannic red wines like Norton, and Shiraz wines will go best with your classic grilled steak, as the fat in the meat will tone down the tannin (bitterness) in the wine. Cheeses- in some European countries the best wine is reserved for the cheese course. Red wines -Cabernet Franc & Norton- go well with mild to sharp cheese. Pungent and intensely flavored cheese is better with a sweeter wine like Riesling. Goat Cheeses pair well with dry white wine Chardonnay or Seyval Blanc, while milder cheeses pair best with fruiter red wine. Soft cheese like Camembert and Brie, if not over ripe, pair well with just about any red wine including Cabernet Franc or a Merritage. Chocolate may upset the taste of wine. Some claim that a Cabernet Franc will do the trick for a perfect matching of wine and chocolate. Or just have wine as a dessert by its self, a Late Harvest Wine like a Vidal Blanc or Veramar DOra.

Wine tasting at your local Vineyard is a great way to try different wines and teach you wine favors. Or you can contact your local Virginia winery for a wine and food paring suggestion, they will be glad to make a wine and food marriage proposal for you. Cheers!

Short Review on Wine Merchants

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