Snipits

This is referring to textures affecting the palate.

This is referring to textures affecting the palate. The big thing to remember is that the old days of red wine and red meat going together is no longer the bible of wine tasting. Nancy and I have had some great seafood dishes done in a tomato sauce, where the acid in the sauce goes great with certain acidic red wines.

The New Testament of the wine food bible says we now go by the effect of the wine on the palate, not on the colour of the wine. The four components are alcohol, tannin, sweetness and acid. Besides affecting texture, all four components help the wine as it ages.

  1. Alcohol gives the wine body, makes it smooth and gives some sweetness. Tannin makes the wine astringent. (gives a dry feeling in the front of the mouth and bitterness at the back of the throat)
  2. Sweetness brings out the flavour, balances the acid and gives the wine body and a heavier mouth feel.
  3. Acid balances the sweetness and also gives the wine crispness.

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These components affect the wine in many different ways, which means you have to choose your wines very carefully based on the wine and food matching principles listed above. Not only that, it also means that a wine you choose for your main course may not go with the salad or dessert. In fact in can become downright unenjoyable for that part of the meal.

This means you may want to have more then one wine with a meal so that you can have a pleasing wine with all the courses. If you are ordering in a restaurant you may want to order by the glass, or if you are with another couple, you may want to order two types of wine and share. The nice thing about recent changes to liquor rules in BC is that you can order a couple of bottles with each course, and have the restaurant recork them for you and take the remainder home. Think of it as a doggy bottle.

Some of the rules to remember are that the wine should be sweeter than the food, acidic wines should be served with acidic dishes and salty foods should be served with sweet wines. Also sipping wines should have less tannin and the same goes for people new to red wines.

That does not mean these rules work for all people all the time. Each person is different and you need to experiment. Because I drink strong black tea with no sugar, I am very tolerant to tannin. The rule on tannin does apply to me, but to a lesser degree than to those that don't drink tea like I do.

Tannin is attracted to the protean in saliva and leaves the mouth dry. This means you should serve young tannic red wines with medium rare meat as the protein in the meat coats the tongue and the tannin in the wine removes the protein and cleanses the mouth while softening the wine. Well done meat doesn't coat the tongue with protein as much and so you want to use an older, softer red to prevent the mouth becoming too dry.

Don't put salt on meat if you are going to serve it with wines with lots of tannin, or if you do, try using kosher salt, as it is less salty. Also sweet food does not go well with wines that are high in tannin. Peppery food goes well with a Shiraz because of it's peppery taste.

Use acidic wines with acidic foods, as acid reduces acid and the wine will taste sweeter. If you want the acid to stay high, then chill the wine. Don't try acidic wine with sweet food, as it makes the wine more acidic.

Bitter foods, like endive and broccoli, don't go good with a lot of wines, but give Sauvignon Blanc a try. It is one of the most food friendly wines and it is great with asparagus sprinkled with goat cheese.

Don't serve high alcohol wines with spicy or hot foods as the wine will make the food taste hotter. A low alcohol wine will taste sweeter with spicy food, so that is a good choice

The one type of wine that people don't think about serving is sweeter wines, including dessert wines and yet they go with a lot of different foods, including the main course. It can even be a great choice to serve late harvest or ice wines with spicy Thai food. If these types of wine are also high in acid they can be great with most cheeses, especially salty ones like goat cheese, or they can be served with acidic food. When served with salty food, these wines soften the saltiness and so is a good choice with salty nuts, anchovies or even popcorn.

These sweet wines can even be great with sweet foods, as long as the wine is sweeter than the dish, as sweetness reduces sweetness. If it is a delicate fruit dish, the sweet wine will bring out more of the fruitiness. Port is also great with sweet desserts, or good dark chocolate.

Now that you have the basic principals of matching wine and food, you can invite some friends over to experiment. Go to your local VQA store or local liquor outlet and asked them to recommend some wines that will fit in all the categories above. Pour samples of each wine in glasses for you and your friends. Also give them samples of the different types of food listed here. You need salt, endive, a lemon, something slightly sweet and really sweet, something hot and spicy, an item that is greasy, and a type of food that is creamy or buttery. Taste each item with each type of wine and write down your impressions and compare the results.

If you bought enough of each type of wine, you can serve a meal encompassing each type of wine and each type of food and have everyone try the different wines until they find the perfect match. Have everyone share in the cost and maybe have each couple bring one food item. It should be a fun evening for everyone. And you thought getting an education at your age would be too much work.

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Contributing Sources

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Posted in Food Post Date 02/07/2017


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