Section I: The Fundamentals of Wine Chapter 5: Food and Wine
Introduction The marriage of wine and food can be a mutually beneficial relationship. In pairing, food and wine flavors complement each other.
Historical and Cultural Influences on Food and Wine Pairing Cultures evolves their own cuisines over centuries based on foodstuffs available in their regions. Accompanying beverage was wine from their respective countries. Wines were made with grape varietals indigenous to that region and reflected the terroir of the region. “Mother Nature” took care of the pairing.
Wine Pairing Develops • In the late 17th century, regional cuisines became more clearly developed. • French were leaders in defining national cuisine. • “La Haute Cuisine” (high cuisine) • Developed concept of restaurants • People in Europe chose wines from their own countries. • People in countries where wine couldn’t be produced chose French wines. • Concept of matching wines to dishes developed. • “Fusion cuisine” • Started in 1970s by chef Wolfgang Puck • Blending culinary traditions of two or more nations to create innovative dishes
Thoughtful Matching of Wine and Food • “Goal of combining a wine and dish is to provide an arrangement where: • The flavors of the wine both compliment and elevate the flavors of the food and vice-versa • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts • One partner should not dominate over the other. • A wine can provide two functions: • It can act as a seasoning that adds a new flavor to the food. • It can compliment the dish so the food’s flavor is emphasized.
Food and Wine in a Restaurant Setting Look at the flavor and richness of the food. Select a beverage with complementary qualities.
Basic Concepts of Matching Wine to Food Rich foods are complemented by full-bodied wines. (tannic wines complement fatty foods). Light-bodied foods are complemented by light-bodied wines. Sour foods decrease the perception of acid in wine and are best paired with tart wines. Sweet foods accentuate the perception of acid and are best paired with wines that are slightly sweeter than the food. Foods with fruity flavors go best with wines that also have a fruity character.
Basic Concepts of Matching Wine to Food (cont.) Complex foods with intricate flavors go best with simple wines; conversely, wines with complex flavors go best with simple foods. Spicy foods bring out the bitterness and astringency in wine and are best paired with tart, light bodied, off dry wines. Spicy foods bring out the bitterness and astringency in wine and are best paired with tart, light bodied, off dry wines. Salty foods pairs well with sparkling wine. A sauce or glaze can be used to bridge the gap between flavors to allow a particular food to go with a certain wine.
Basic Concepts of Matching Wine to Food (cont.) The method of preparation can greatly affect on how the dish will pair with the wine. The textures and body of the food and wine should complement each other. The older and more complex a sparkling wine is, the better it goes with heavy foods.
How a Wine’s Flavor Affects Food • A wine’s chemical and physical attributes determine: • What the flavor of the wine will be • How the wine will relate to the food • Components of a wine’s flavor profile: • Alcohol level • Acidity • Sweetness • Astringency/bitterness • Oak level • Body/viscosity
How a Food’s Flavor Affects Wine Method of cooking Richness Spiciness Saltiness Acidity Sweetness
Special Considerations for Vegetarian Cuisine Most vegetarian dishes are not as rich and fatty as meat-based entrees are. Big-bodied tannic wines may not make a good match. Light to medium-bodied wines would do better.
Putting it All Together These are basic guidelines, not absolute laws. Cooks and wine drinkers are encouraged to experiment. Pairing food and wine is a matter of taste. Everyone has their own opinions and preferences. Experimentation leads to a greater understanding.
Ageing Wines Majority of wines are designed to be enjoyed when they are released. Storage conditions are essential to proper aging. As wine ages, it goes through changes that affect its flavor and body. As the wine’s flavors evolve, the way it interacts with food also changes.
What Happens to a Wine as it Ages Changes in color Changes in aroma Changes in flavor and body Amount of sediment
Which Wines Should be Aged? Wines that depend on fruity qualities for the majority of their flavor do not age well. Since acid is needed preserve a wine during aging, low acid wines age poorly. The additional alcohol and big body of fortified dessert wines helps to preserve them for many years. Large bottles age more slowly than small bottles. For a wine to age well, it should have a high level of tannins and acid, yet still be in balance.
Matching Older Wines With Food As a wine ages, it goes through a number of changes that affect how it will pair with food. Since the wine is becoming softer and less tannic, it will be less likely to go with rich and fatty dishes. An older wine’s flavors are more delicate/less likely to match strongly flavored or heavily seasoned foods. Older wines have more subtle and complex flavors that develop over time and do better with foods that possess more subtle flavors as well.
Wines and Health • The role of wine on human health is influenced by two contradictory concepts: • Wine is a beverage that should be considered a food. • Alcohol is a drug and should be regulated and controlled. • Today, scientific studies show that moderate consumption of wine can have positive health effects, and moderate drinkers outlive those who abstain.
Negative Effects from Excessive Alcohol Consumption The harmful effects of excessive consumption can occur chronically over many years, or acutely in a single “binge drinking” episode. The long-term consequences of over consumption include liver damage, as well as an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
Positive Effects from Moderate Wine Consumption People who consume wine in moderation have a longer lifespan than alcoholics and those who abstain from alcohol. Direct link between modest wine drinking and increased cardiovascular health.
Special Considerations for Women Studies show a correlation between moderate consumption of wine and an increased risk of certain types of breast cancer. Alcohol consumption affects estrogen levels in the body and may encourage estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Women also have to take into account the effects of alcohol consumption on pregnancy.