Monday, September 7, 2009

Rant: Overly Simple Wine Pairings

If you need advice on which wine to pair with a specific food, there are plenty of websites, iPhone applications and books that will give you charts and recommendations. Far too often, the recommendation is a specific grape, or several different grapes. So why is that a problem?

The problem is that it stereotypes the grape, making it seem that all wines made from that grape are the same, which is very far from the actuality. For example, not all Pinot Noirs are the same. A French Burgundy can be very different from a California Pinot. An overly oaked Chardonnay is very different from an unoaked one. And not all of these different styles of the same grape will pair equally well with the same food. A food that might pair well with a dry Riesling might ve a horrible match to a sweeter Riesling.

So, if you are relying on some of these quick fix food and wine pairing guides, you might not enjoy the pairing you find. The style of the wine can be very important in pairings. If you want pairing advice, seek out those resources which are more informative, which consider matters such as the different styles of wine made from the same grape. The quick fix is not always the most helpful.

What problems have you encountered in trying to match food and wine?

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