Butter chicken was on the dinner menu tonight, but after having white wine for the last two nights in a row, I didn’t want to have it again, thus depriving me of the most natural spicy food wine pairing (as discussed previously here): a slightly sweet, lower-alcohol, low (or no) tannin white like a German Riesling (natch) or a Chenin Blanc. Since tannin and alcohol are notorious enemies of hot and spicy cuisine, I dug around for the red in my cellar likely to have the lowest levels of both, a difficult feat since booze and tannin are two of the hallmarks of most good red wines. I came up with Beaujolais, a red wine region in the southernmost part of Burgundy in southeastern France that may be the world’s only premium red site focused on making wines from the Gamay grape. Gamay is an ideal white wine pinch-hitter because it is generally light in body, fairly low in alcohol, and most importantly, extremely low in discernable tannins; it has the fruity punch of a red with the delicacy and texture of a white. Not to say that it’s a match made in heaven with Indian food, but it stood the greatest chance of not clashing horribly. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: 2008, beaujolais, cru beaujolais, domaine du vissoux, fleurie, french wines, gamay, poncié, wine reviews, wine scores
Categories : Wine Reviews
The very first “ironclad” wine and food pairing rule that I was ever told is so ubiquitous that I’m sure you’ve all heard it too: red wine with meat, white wine with fish. But is this prohibition on mixing red wines and fish fact or fiction? As with any good urban legend, it’s a bit of both.
First the fact: it is a good idea to avoid pairing particularly oily foods with wines that are high in tannin (for a longer explanation on what tannin is, click here) because the two combine to produce unpleasant metallic or tinny flavours on the palate. Generally speaking, fish is quite oily as compared to other cuts of meat, and red wines are the most likely candidates to be high in tannin, as white wines usually have little to no detectable tannins; as a result, it is certainly true that some red wines and some fish will not be a happy mix. The iodine present in fish can also have a similar negative reaction with tannin (and, at least according to this article, the traces of iron in certain red wines will clash with fish), so following the basic “no red wine with fish” rule can help you avoid disastrous gastronomic consequences.
However, it is fiction to say that red wine and fish can never be successfully paired together. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: acidity, beaujolais, food pairing guide, high-acid wines, oily foods, pinot noir, red wine, salmon, swordfish, tannin, tuna, wine and food matching, wine and food pairing, wine with fish
Categories : Tips & Tricks