wine and food, food and wine, what’s the big deal?

Friday, November 04, 2011

My column last Sunday in the Seattle Times proposed that we toss out all the rules (and the books that pander to them) regarding matching food and wine.

Wine Adviser

Maybe I snapped, having written one too many “what to drink with turkey?” columns over the years (I know! How about geworstramoaner! We never have that!). In any event, my thesis was that a lot of unnecessary fussing and fretting could be avoided by treating the food as food, the wine as wine, and letting them work out their own relationships.

I did not simply abandon readers to their own devices, however. I suggested several tactics that would encourage experimentation, all things I have successfully tried in my own home.

The main idea is to put the wines center stage, at least at first. If you allow one bottle per drinking guest (for a big holiday meal) that means you can open up several bottles at once and let them play around with their own wine/food experiments. Have both reds and whites open, and take a moment to introduce the wines, which may be unfamiliar to some guests. Do not have six bottles of the same wine! Have six bottles (or whatever) of six different wines! Encourage guests to pour very small tastes, and try them all with the foods on the table. Let them do the work of finding the perfect pairing. The more guests and wines, the more fun you will have.

At the end of the evening, take a vote for the best matchup. In the spirit of the season, you might offer the winning guest a nice bottle of wine to take home.

Extra credit if the winner comes up with something unusual. But of course, that depends upon you, the host, putting out some interesting wines. In my upcoming (this Sunday) wine column I will have some specific suggestions.

2 comments:

The Sediment Blog said...

A bottle a head, eh?

Our kind of lunch!

Christian Miller said...

Nicely put. And especially true for Thanksgiving, where a cacophony of dishes and flavors makes nonsense of specific pairings.

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