Wine talk: Pairing wine with food
Many people tend to choose wine without even thinking about the food
Right now, with the season on Marco Island almost over, I am happy to be back with my share of wine article contributions.
This time, since we’ve covered almost every wine producing country in the world in the past, I would like to talk more about wine pairing in general.
The biggest question is, when it comes to wine pairing, is whether it’s a choice that everybody should follow? And is it true that only the wine critics and people working with wine all their life can understand all the nuances of the wine and evaluate the quality and complexity?
Let’s be honest, mostly when we go for dinner and pick the wine, we don't even think about the food. And when we look at the wine list, we usually choose from white or red, our personal or our company’s favorites, whether the best-priced or not.
Why is this? Because we think wine pairing is too complicated.
Well, it is complicated; that’s why people spend all their lives learning about wines. But In this regard, let me bring in an example of a particular wine that I love a lot as an example.
W…. Dreams, which comes from the North East corner of Italy, Friuli, has had a history of producing light aromatic white wines of immense drinkability, but which is of little interest outside the region.
It is not your usual Italian wine for sure, originally named after a U2 song, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name.’ (W…Dreams, by Jerman Wineries dedicated the name to ‘The Joshua Tree’ album, and for the first nine years the wine was called Where the Dreams have no end. Thereafter, they changed by introducing the dots so that people could put their own interpretations on the unusual name.)
This wine is very intense, with a hint of honey and wild flowers. It is smooth on the palate with a good balance and an exceptionally long finish. This is very a rich and dry wine.
Now, after reading about taste, the question is how would you pair this kind of wine with food?
Solution: Pair the wine based on the intensity of the preparation or sauce. Delicate preparation need less intensive wine. More intensive prep, such as grilling, goes with richer whites like chardonnay or medium-bodied reds. The great rule of thumb is that in general, foods that you might put butter on often pair well with a medium to full-bodied chardonnay.
With a dish complemented by putting lime or lemon on it, let it signal to you a more tart wine, like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
Choose similar weight and texture, in this context. Similarly-weighted food and wine complement each other. Food and wine can be light, medium or heavy-bodied. For example, lobster and chardonnay are both medium-weight and rich, so they complement each other.
In this case, then, the W....Dreams Chardonnay would pair perfectly with dishes like surf and turf, grilled lobster or fish, roasted chicken or any creamy pasta like the great lobster mac ‘n cheese from Marco Prime.
Bon appetito and salute.
Adamo Serravalle is co-owner of Marco Prime and DaVinci’s, and is a wine connoisseur. Along with Marco Porto of chop239, Laura Owen of CJ’s on the Bay and Ivo Nedelchev of Sale E Pepe, he is a regular contributor to this column