Wine is meant to have a partner. Food.
As the two enter their union, the full flavors of both the wine and food stretch throughout all of the lovely layers and deepen the satiation and satisfaction of the dining experience.
When I am in Bend, I look to our local grocer Newport Market to help me pick out my wine and trust the wine buyers there to not only recommend but share what they love about a particular wine. If I am picking out a wine to pair with a dish I have never made, I look no further than Suzi who has always steered me in delicious directions. From pairing with seafood to trout to lamb to paella, she suggests varying price points and leaves me to decide.
Perhaps that is the key as well, know who to ask and who to trust for recommendations.
For nine years when I lived near Walla Walla, Washington’s nearly 100 wineries, I trusted my own palate as we would visit the tasting rooms, often without a fee (and if there was a fee, it was $5 that could go toward your wine purchase), but that option is not available unless I travel now that I live in central Oregon – which perhaps is yet another reason to travel. 🙂
However, to stick to hard-and-fast rules about what wine should go with what, while something to consider and inquire as to why, shouldn’t be adhered to absolutely nor blindly. Drink what you like, like what you drink was often a motto I would hear and for the most part, agree with. What I would add would be to just remember to pair it with food you enjoy as well. The entire flavor profile of the wine and the food when partnered, as mentioned above, changes, and often those traditional pairing suggestions reveal their wisdom.
From something as simple as a luscious red cabernet-blend paired with a hamburger nestled between a brioche bun to a bouillabaisse paired with a light, crisp sauvignon blanc or viognier, if there is food, there is a wine that will pair with it and the experience will be all the more scrumptious and memorable because of it.
There are many books available to deepen your knowledge of wine.
Depending upon what your sense of humor, depth of curiosity and any other preference, there is a book for you. I have gathered up a few below.
For the Cook
To Better Understand the Terminology
To Stay Up-To-Date
For the Novice, but Curious-Minded
For the Memoir Lovers
Cork Dork (2016)
For the Forever-Student
For the Historian
For the serious enclopedic academic or future wine maker
Wishing you many meals of scrumptious and memorable in the best-possible-of-ways food and wine! Santé!
Speaking of wine, have you entered TSLL’s first giveaway? A lucky winner is going to be welcoming into their home a pair of La Rochere’s Bistrot wine glasses. Learn more about how to enter here.
Image: TSLL’s Soufflé au Fromage avec Champagne
PREVIOUS POSTS from TSLL’s 5th Annual French Week