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THE BENEFITS OF PROPER FOOD AND WINE PAIRING
Although the recent trend in wine and food pairing is to follow your heart and your taste buds - it’s also worth knowing what the traditionalists say. After all, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know the rules, and when it comes to wine tasting you have to know how to name what you’re looking at.
There are a lot of benefits and some surprising facts about proper food and wine pairing. If you want to see some wine tasting in person (or the next best thing) you can look at virtual tastings at a number of wineries all over the world - it’s a great way to experience various varietals, blends, and appellations, as well as a ton of information and educational materials that these wineries provide about their products. Not to mention wine of the month clubs and other subscription services - even if you’re choosing to isolate right now, you won’t be left high and dry.
Food and wine pairings are not made for abstract reasons, it’s always a bit subjective, creating room for creativity to enhance the flavour of the food properly and provide you with a great experience. This being said, there are some classic pairings that are there for a good reason - they just go so well together - like raspberries and chocolate, mint sauce and lamb or brown sugar and pumpkin pie. These popular combos are: Coq au Vin and Red Burgundy wine, Caviar and Champagne, Stilton and sweet and heavy wines like Porto or Tokaji, Red meat and Cabernet, Seafood and Chardonnay, Crab and Lobster with semi sweet or sweet whites. These pairings might seem very specific but when you try them, you’ll experience that "aha moment" and immediately know why they’re a match made in heaven.
Pairing wines can be fun - Acker Wines has made a great infographic that will explain how things stand at a glance. Remember, even if you choose to “unpair” classic food and wine combinations, no one is going to gasp and accuse you of ignorance. The wine world has been thriving on creativity and freshness for quite some time now - probably ever since California wines came into the picture and turned the industry upside down with their informality (but world-class quality). Make sure you have tasted the wine first before pairing - you don’t want to do it blind before an important dinner party. But if you’re experimenting by yourself or with a group of close friends - go crazy and experiment away.