Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Pairing "Rules"

Geerlings & Wade present the new top 10 “rules” for food and wine pairing:

1. There are no rules. Don’t be a slave to the red-with-meat-and-white-with-fish mentality. Red wines can be delicate, whites can be bold and assertive. Free yourself from preconceptions, and enjoy the flexibility.
2. Balance is the key. Think yin and yang. Wine and food should complement each other, with neither dominating the other.
3. Compare and contrast flavors. Think about the flavors on your menu, and decide whether you want to support them or contrast them. Sometimes contrasting wines are as effective at bringing out the flavors in the food as wines with similar flavors.
4. Size matters. Weight and intensity are just as important as flavor. A subtle wine calls for a lighter entrée. Heavy or intensely flavored foods require a wine that can stay in the ring with them. Similarly, delicate foods call for delicacy in their accompaniment.
5. A region for being. Try matching your wine with foods from the same appellation. Regional foods and wines often have a natural affinity for each other.
6. Order in the court. If you’re serving more than one wine, there is an optimum order that ensures that the full flavors can be appreciated: dry before sweet, white before red, light before heavy, young before mature, simple before complex.
7. Fight the flavor fighters. Stay away from high-alcohol wines, such as fortified wines, at the dinner table. Fruitiness can also impair food flavors. And it’s best to look for lightly oaked wines or those aged in stainless-steel tanks if you don’t want the wine to overpower your entrée.
8. It’s easier to adjust the food than to adjust the wine. If the wine seems bitter, sweeten the dish or throw in more salt. Increase the food’s acidity if the wine seems sour. Wines that appear too tannic will mellow with some bitterness in the food. And if sweetness is the issue, add a splash of lemon.
9. Give the ball to your most versatile player. If you’re still uncertain about which wine to serve, you can always choose a varietal that goes with just about anything. Think of Riesling, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc for whites, and Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or red Bordeaux for reds.
10. Play with your food. Wine is lifestyle. Wine is fun! Don’t spoil the pleasure by letting it create stress. In today’s culture, it’s OK to experiment. After all, when pairing food with wine, it’s easier to go right than wrong!

No comments: