Rob Moshein - Austin Wine Guy
Rob's Rules for Food and Wine Pairing.
May 02, 2007Rule 1. There are no rules.
What!? I know that's what you're thinking. You thought I was going to lay it all out nice and neat for you, and then I tell you there are no real rules. Well, tough, there aren't. Now, some people out there will tell you that THEY have the rules you need for great food and wine pairing. Well, see there is just one problem with that. Their rules are for what THEY like, but not necessarily for what YOU like.
Look, I always tell my wine classes that wine is like Art, you put on your wall what you like, not what someone in New York City TELLS you to like, right? Hey you like dogs playing poker or Elvis on Velvet, you put that up. Somebody else may like Jasper Johns or Renoir. Its all good. The same goes for wine.
Rule 2. Drink what you like to drink. Period.
Now, that said, there are some suggestions to enhance the interplay between food and wine, but it takes some thought.
So, first, think about what the food tastes like. Steamed Lobster: sweet, salty, delicate and of course the melted butter. OK, so now what wine?
Cabernet Sauvignon? well what does that taste like? Dark rich cassis, dried cherry, oaky, tannic. So, put the two flavors of lobster and Cab together, in your head Yuck, at least to me.
Sauvignon Blanc, maybe from the Loire? Taste profile: Crisp, light, minerally, citrus, lime, nice clean acids, no tannin. Put that with lobster...Yummo...at least to me.
Thats the game, gang. No Harry Potter spells, no Guru-like Zen Master truthiness. You just think about what the food will taste like, and what the wine tastes like, and put the two together.
So, the REAL fun comes when you start to, as Cole Porter wrote, E X P E R I M E N T !
My crazy Wine Snob Best buddy Paul the Lawyer brought Grand Cru Red Burgundy and an amazing Rotberger Riesling Spatlese to my favorite LA Sushi joint (Sushi Sushi on Beverly Drive. Shige-San is a true master! Shige, you Rock!). I looked at him like he was nuts. Then Shige started putting his magic food in front of us and Paul opened the wines. Sweet fresh rock shrimp with just some shiso just was amazing with the Riesling. Chu-toro, hit quick with the blowtorch and a touch of home made Teriyaki and fresh wasabi washed down with Chambolle Musigny was amazing!!
So, despite what Mom told you, it really is OK to play with your food, AND with your wine. The more you do play with it, the more you'll learn your OWN personal Rules for Food and Wine Pairing.