I was sent an article the other day which claimed that all food and wine matching is a scam. Whilst I think that’s a tad sensationalist, there is no doubt that people place far too much emphasis on it when the secret truth is that most wine kind of goes with most food.
So I thought I’d dig deeper into this terribly exacting and important science and reveal some of the REAL truths about food and wine matching, in hopes of giving you all confidence to have a go for yourselves. See that pinch of salt? Take it now.
1. The lady who drinks Sauvignon Blanc is going to drink Sauvignon Blanc. You could be a combination of Gordon Ramsay, Jancis Robinson and Gerard Bassett (MW, MS, OBE, etc etc) and I guarantee you won’t be able to convert the person who wants to drink Sauvignon Blanc with absolutely every single dish on offer. You can make all the amazing matches in the world – but you ain’t taking away my Sauvvie B.
2. People will believe absolutely anything in the world of food and wine matching if it is said with a confident air. “I find the caramel notes in this Chardonnay really work well with the spicy, earthy undertones of that braised lizard’s pancreas.”
3. One sip and one mouthful and everyone’s an expert on food and wine matching. Actually this is true – but only for you and your taste buds. The rest of us couldn’t care less about your amazing match so please stop going on about it.
4. Whatever the food and wine combination, some matching-Nazis will use it as an excuse to recount an incredibly tedious story about this amazing combination they had this one time. I generally get the offal-matching stories; I think people want to show off that they’re ballsy enough to eat balls and brains and any other strange flappy bits beginning with ‘b’ and STILL come up with some amazing wine that goes with it to perfection.
5. Food and wine don’t ‘marry’. That’s what 2 people do, generally as the result of a long and committed relationship. Food and wine like to party it up and have a good time together. It’s not all that serious, they’re here for a good time not a long time and when all is said and done, tomorrow you’re going to be hungry and thirsty again - so stop stressing.
Mmm – well I think that will do! The bottom line with food and wine matching is that the wine which tastes best is always the one you enjoy, so have fun and chill out. And I now have to go and turn my lizard’s pancreas – it’s been on that braai far too long!