Pairing Food & Wine by lindahy

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									Pairing Food & Wine                                                                                   Page 1 of 3




                                                      Pairing Food & Wine


                      Overview
                 Rule number one: there are no rules. The Australian world of food and wine offers more
                 freedom and diversity than perhaps that of any other nation on the planet. Australians have
                 grown up with a broad influence from Indigenous, European and Asian cultures so it is
                 unsurprising that there is less of a national cuisine and a rather 'magpie' like borrowing and
                 contemporary interpretation of cuisine from around the world. There’s an inherent free-
                 spirited attitude in the kitchens and cellars of Australia that drives adventure, refinement and
                 discovery when food and wine get together.

                      The Big Picture - The Basics
                 The close relationship between food and wine may, in part, closely parallel the evolution of
                 great cooking and great wine making. It's no surprise that some of the best cuisine in the
                 world happens in some of the finest wine-growing regions, where wine is often just as
                 prevalent in the cooking process as it is in the glass. Australia is fortunate in terms of
                 availability of excellent fresh, clean, green produce and has developed wines to match food
                 from all around the world.

                 It is important to understand the basic tastes of wine: sweet, bitter and sour. Much of what
                 we perceive as taste are actually aromas, including floral, fruit, spice and alcohol aromas.
                 Apart from the basic taste of wine, the weight and intensity, or texture, of a wine is an
                 important factor in food and wine pairing.

                      Marriages and Contrasts

                 Broadly speaking there are two approaches to food and wine matching, wherever in the
                 world you may be – marriages and contrasts. The marriage approach is all about like with
                 like, striking harmony between flavours and textures on the plate and in the glass or
                 matching the weight of a wine, whether full, medium or light-bodied, should match the weight
                 of the dish. An example of this approach is to match a ripe, full-bodied Shiraz with a grilled
                 fillet of beef served with a red wine reduction.

                 The contrasts approach is about pitching wine and food at opposite ends and striking a
                 balance of flavour intensity and texture through their interaction. An example of this is to
                 match a zesty young Riesling with pan roasted sea scallops in a rich butter sauce.

                 One other tip is don’t get hung up on colour. The diverse array of wine on offer beckons you
                 to break free of convention and experiment. Each wine is unique, regardless of variety and
                 region, and each vintage has its own character plus subtle shifts in wine style can make big
                 differences in the way wines interact with food.




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Pairing Food & Wine                                                                                   Page 2 of 3




                                                          Red Wine with fish




                      A Case In Point - Neil Perry, Chef and Food Writer –
                      Rockpool Sydney New South Wales
                 “I think food and wine pairing is important because it heightens the whole dining experience.
                 There are two ways of going about it, what I try to do is look at the flavours and textures in
                 the food and pick up flavours that are similar or comparable in the wine. If you have
                 something that’s flavoured with truffles then an older Pinot Noir can work really well,
                 because of those gamey aromas in the wine and the truffles. But then sometimes you also
                 want to look at some opposing flavours, for example if you have something that’s really quite
                 rich you might want to select a wine to cut through that.

                 There’s really no right and wrong, on a personal level though, it’s better to drink things you
                 enjoy, and many wines go very well with lots of food. I drink lots of red wines with seafood
                 for example.

                 Really big wines are more difficult to match with food, such as some of those really big
                 Shirazes that Robert Parker goes for – I don’t know what you’re supposed to eat with that
                 stuff. But then at the same time you’ve got something like Rockford’s Basket Press, which is
                 one of the most food friendly wines you can imagine.

                 Matching wine and food makes it a more complete experience, it keeps adding layers and
                 complexity and makes the whole thing more enjoyable.”




                                                     Rockpool Restaurant, Sydney


                      Summary
                 The secret to successful food and wine matching is to get straight into tasting. Take note of
                 the ingredients being used in a dish and hone in on a likely grape variety to suit. Australia




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Pairing Food & Wine                                                                                Page 3 of 3



                 has over sixty different wine regions and grow over 100 wine grape varieties, so there’s
                 plenty to taste and something to suit every dish and occasion. You’ll always have your
                 favourites, and what’s even more exciting is knowing they all have a place at the table.
                 Enjoy food and wine the Australian way – it’s seriously good fun!


                      CHECKLIST
                       Remember, there are no rules!
                       Know the basic tastes of wine (sweet, bitter and sour) and understand the different
                       aromas.
                       Taste and texture (weight and intensity) are important factors in food and wine
                       pairing .
                       Take note of the ingredients being used in a dish and select a grape variety to suit.
                       Marriages or Contrasts: strike harmony between flavours and textures and marry like
                       with like OR create balance through the interaction of food and wine from opposing
                       ends of the scale.
                       Don’t get hung up on the colour of the wine.
                       Experiment and enjoy food and wine the Australian way.




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