Wine is made for you to enjoy its flavor, to give you a nice buzz, and to complement your food; all at the same time!
- Wine contains living microorganisms; its flavors will evolve with time and mellow out. Top wines made in top years require long term cellaring. However, top wines made in off years often require less aging.
- Simple Wines are wines that vary from very nice to poor quality. The wines of nice quality taste pleasant and may complement your food at times; the ones of poor quality will torture your palate, get you drunk, and leave you with a headache!
- Open Knit Multi-Dimensional Wines are wines that have distinguishable aromas and flavors during their consumption; the more dimension the better the wine. They are great with food at their apogee.
- Closely Knit Complex Wines are wines that are multi-dimensional but focused and render a great deal of drinking pleasure. They are well blended and it is hard to differentiate their aromas and flavors. They are great with food at their apogee.
- The majority of wines are designed to be drunk without aging. However, many young, complex wines may be overly tannic with flavors hidden in the background. Aging these wines allows the developing exotic and complex flavors to come to the foreground and allows the tannins to soften. Young wines are like unripe fruits while aged wines are like perfectly ripened fruits.
- If you like to drink high quality wine by itself for pure enjoyment and conversation, then generally speaking, you may drink an expensive ($60 and above) wine at its youth-within 2-3 years after bottling. You will have to be careful though because the wine may be in a closed stage and may not give you your money's worth until its flavors develop after further aging.
Simple Foods: Simple foods are made with single or at the most a few ingredients, i.e. roast beef or chicken, or a simple stew with very few ingredients.
Complex Foods: Complex foods are made with a multitude of ingredients and seasonings, i.e. sauced meats, poultry, and fish.
Wine and Food
- Wines can fight food, go along with food as a separate entity, complement food, and if you are lucky create a synergy with food. Try complex wines with complex foods; the next best combination is complex wines with simple foods.
- If you are drinking wine with food, try aged wines. Young wines, generally speaking, possess rough tannins that would fight foods with the exception of some fatty foods. However, young, well-blended wines with sweet and mellow tannins, or very little tannin may go well with food. They are usually around $30-$50. Great, aged wines and the right food together will complement each other, create a synergy, and thus yield to a very euphoric experience!
- An aged complex wine may not reveal its potential of interesting flavor characteristics unless it is paired with food.
- If you are ordering wine at a restaurant, let the chef or the sommelier help you pick your wine. Let them know what you plan to select from the menu because they will know how your food ingredients are put together. If for some reason you do not think you would want the wine that was suggested, ask for an alternative. If possible, explain the type of wines you usually drink or like. Do not hesitate to point to your price range of wines on the wine list.
Next time: More detailed tips on specific wines and foods.
The statements herein are the subjective opinions of AA&T; we welcome your comments.