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Finding the Right Match . . .

There are many many books, blogs, and articles written every year about matching wine with food. There have been a handful of scientific studies on the matter as well (See Hildegarde Heyman’s study from UC Davis a few years back debunking wine and cheese pairings).

That said, I have rarely had ‘epiphany’ moments when matching wines with specific foods. Sure, I’ve had some great steaks with cabs, and some wonderful fish dishes with pinots . . . and even a few wonderful pasta with white sauce dishes with mineral and acid driven Chablis. But these are exceptions, not rules, in my experiences . . .

I had a great experience a few weeks back while pouring at the Malibu Wine Classic, though. I was pouring my wine next to a station that was serving a Hamachi Sashimi with a touch of avocado and a splash of a spicy green sauce. On a hunch, I went over and got a piece and tried it with my 2008 The Outlier, a dry Gewurztaminer with about .25% residual sugar . . and VOILA! The ever-so-slight sweetness on the finish of the wine tamed the slight spiciness of the dish; the fullness of the wine blended perfectly with the mildish flavors of the Hamachi. I recommended the pairing to dozens of people that day, and in every case, they came back with big smiles on their faces! A true success!

What magical pairings have you experienced recently? I’d love to hear about them – and have you share them with others!!!!!!!


2 responses to “Finding the Right Match . . .”

  1. I recently paired Pinot Noir with meatloaf and it was suprisingly a good match. The fruitiness of the Pinot was a nice balance to the texture and density of the meat. Normally I would go Cab or something more chewy but this was an experiement that worked.

  2. Kevin says:

    Sparkling wine and sushi is always a great match to me. Two nights ago, I had a German Riesling QbA that went perfect with spicy jambalaya. Same concept as above, the sweet finish of the wine laid to waste the heat of the food, but the acidity kept it from being cloying.