Thursday, January 21, 2010

FOOD & WINE PAIRING


Wine and food matching is the process of pairing food dishes with wine to enhance the dining experience. In many cultures, wine has had a long history of being a staple at the dinner table and in some ways both the winemaking and culinary traditions of a region will have evolved together over the years. Rather than following a set of rules, local cuisines were paired simply with local wines. The modern "art" of food pairings is a relatively recent phenomenon, fostering an industry of books and media with guidelines for pairings of particular foods and wine. In the restaurant industry, sommeliers are often present to make food pairing recommendations for the guest. The main concept behind pairings is that certain elements (such as texture and flavor) in both food and wine react differently to each other and finding the right combination of these elements will make the entire dining experience more enjoyable. However, taste and enjoyment are very subjective and what may be a "textbook perfect" pairing for one taster could be less enjoyable to another.

Foods and wines are matched in the exact same way as the way they are tasted: on the palate, where it comes together. In other words, you match wine the same way that you match anything that tastes good together.
Take, for instance, a large scoop of icy cold, creamy sweet vanilla ice cream, which is made all the better with a generous scoop of hot chocolate syrup. The match works because both are soft and sweet, and the chocolate adds its own unique flavor ("chocolate!") plus a fun, contrasting sensation (hot vs. cold)

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