Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Nuts

I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

When nuts are toasted and added to a dish, as in a crust n a piece of fish, it picks up on the nutty nuances imparted by oak-barrel-aged wines and shows off oak-aged wines.

When nuts have the skin on, especially walnuts and almonds, they have an inherent bitterness that softens the perception of bitter tannins in red wines and some strongly oak-aged wines.

When nuts are powdered and used in cooking, such as in moles and other Latino and world foods) it makes dishes wine-friendly and an favor lightly oak-aged wines.

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Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Herbs

I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

The summer is a perfect time to use a plethora of fresh herbs in every day cooking.  The following tips work for either fresh or dried herbs.

* Fragrant herbs (such as chervil, dill and tarragon) pair best with whites like Riesling and Chardonnay

* More pungent herbs (such as basil, thyme and rosemary) pair best with Sauvignon Blanc and many reds, especially Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

Fast Food Wine Pairings

I recently stumbled across the following article online about fast food wine pairings on FoodBeast:

The Quintessential Guide to Fast Food + Wine Pairings

Honestly, I don’t know whether to be horrified or whether these people are brilliant.

I suppose every meals deserves to have a great wine pairing, but then doesn’t something as mundane as a McDonald’s sandwich deserve to be paired with a Boone’s Farm wine?  Or does it?  Is there an argument to be made that the methodology of pairing wines can certainly be translated to fast food?

The points made about a good fast food wine seem valid.  You need a wine with high acidity to cut the fat. It should be inexpensive, as fast food is not overly priced. It should enhance, not compete with the flavors of the meal.  It should be a bit quirky, as eating fast food and drinking wine together is in and of itself thinking outside of the box.  They even have specific pairings in the article to help you out.

Maybe I need to test some of their suggestions and report back before making a judgement. I am leaning towards wine with fast food being a ridiculous concept, but that is solely based on the fact that whenever I eat fast food, I am not savoring or enjoying the meal. Fast food is purely for convenience in my case, so I personally would not drink wine with it.  But I realize that many people rely on a majority of their meals coming from fast food, so maybe people in these situations like to have a nice glass of wine with their dinner. Who am I to judge? My philosophy has always been drink whatever you like and enjoy, so why should that be any different when fast food is involved?

Has anyone ever had wine with fast food?  Any thoughts on the subject?

Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Sweet Balances Spicy

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I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

If the meal you are savoring incorporates spicy notes, it is beneficial to imbibe with something that has a cooling effect on your mouth.  This can be challenging because the alcohol in wines often antagonizes the heat of the hot spice, reducing the likelihood that your palate is able to cool down. Because of this, it is vital for wines that you drink with a spicy dish to contain a lower alcohol level.  Balancing the spice by drinking a wine with residual sweetness diminishes the perception of heat.

The next time you find yourself ordering or preparing Thai or Indian food, try pairing them with a Riesling, Moscato or Gewurztraminer.

Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Choose Wine Based on Body

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I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

One of the most common wine and food pairing tips is to pair white meat with white wine and red meat with red wine.  This concept refers to one of the most commonly used approaches when pairing food and wine: choosing wine based on its body.

The body of a wine refers to the mouth feel and tannin structure.  Tannin is perceived as the dryness in wines.  I compare it to the after effects of coffee on my tongue.

One comparison that I have found helpful when determining the body of the wine is to think of milk.  There is a definitive difference in the feel on your tongue between skim milk and whole milk.  The lightness and thinness of skim milk can be compared to similar traits in a light bodied wine.  The heavy and thick feel of whole milk can be equated to a full bodied wine.

Wines organized by body from lightest to fullest might look like: sparkling wines, white wines, oaked white wines, light reds, medium reds and full bodied reds.

Proteins organized from lightest to fullest might look like: flaky white fish, oily white fish, fatty fish, poultry, pork, beef and wild game.

You can use these spectrums to pair food and wine. Overlap pairings work as well. For example:

Riesling & Tilapia

Chardonnay & Sea Bass or Chicken Breast

Pinot Noir & Chicken or Pork Chops

Merlot & Filet Mignon or Sirloin

Cabernet Sauvignon & Venison