Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

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Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat? Choose as many as aply to you.

1. Pinot Noir
3
3%
2. Chardonnay
2
2%
3. Syrah
7
6%
4. Nebbiolo
3
3%
5. cabernet
9
8%
6. chenin
3
3%
7. Riesling
1
1%
8. sangiovese
0
No votes
9. zinfandel
6
5%
10. Sauvignon blanc
2
2%
11. Merlot
1
1%
12. Pinot Gris
1
1%
13. tempranillo
0
No votes
14. Grenache
6
5%
15. Mouvedre
0
No votes
16. Malbec
3
3%
17. Cab Franc
2
2%
18. Barbera
0
No votes
19. Gamay
0
No votes
20. Gewürztraminer
12
11%
21. Gruner Veltliner
1
1%
22. Viognier
4
4%
23. Aglianico
3
3%
24. Albarino
0
No votes
25. Torrontes
3
3%
26. Dolcetto
1
1%
27. Nerello Mascalese
0
No votes
28. Assyrtiko
1
1%
29. Sagrantino
3
3%
30. Piquepoul
1
1%
31. Semillon
2
2%
32. Palomino
2
2%
33. Touriga Nacional
0
No votes
34 Frappato
1
1%
35. nero D Avalo
3
3%
36. Arneis
1
1%
37. I only pair grapes that I enjoy drinking / Precise pairing is not important to me
7
6%
38. Is this all the choices we have???
4
4%
39. There are way to many options here!
14
13%
 
Total votes: 112

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craig v
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Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#1 Post by craig v » February 10th, 2019, 8:38 am

This depends a lot on what you also like to eat most. We tend to eat red meat only once or twice a week so big reds like Cabs and especially syrahs don't fit a lot of our dishes. We eat more seafood and poultry.

My toughest grape to pair with the food we eat is syrah. We almost never eat anything with BBQ sauce or even many ribs period. And, I only really enjoy syrah from the Northern Rhone with 15+ years btl age when the aromatics really blossom and the wine turns more towards Burgundian elegant. Not dissing syrah just a personal palate preference for the food we eat and a personal preference for less weighty reds like PN, Nebbiolo and the like.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#2 Post by AlexS » February 10th, 2019, 8:48 am

For me, no specific grape but AFWE wines are really the only way to go with food. Although I do enjoy my share of "cocktail wines" as well, they generally suck with food and are best enjoyed on their own.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#3 Post by John Morris » February 10th, 2019, 8:56 am

That's funny, Craig -- I love nebbiolo but find it relatively hard to match because of tannins and, consequently, I cook red meat so I can drink it! Different strokes. There's a difference between Alto Piemonte nebbiolo and the more concentrated and tannic Langhe wines, too. (I make a meat sauce with ground pork, chopped fennel, roasted fennel seeds and tomato sauce that is relatively light and works well with nebbiolo.)

I agree that young French syrah can be a bit of a challenge, but I love a young, primary St. Joseph with lots of different foods. When Rhone syrahs are mature, I think they work with a wide spectrum of foods.

I find cab can be tricky. I don't like it with dishes with tomatoes, for instance, and avoid that compo.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#4 Post by Michae1 P0wers » February 10th, 2019, 9:37 am

As I go down that list I don't see any real problems. With each wine I can think it would be the right choice with some food. Of course there are wines on that list I don't drink very often at all (zinfandel, Touriga Nacional, Aglianico, Sagrantino) but if I had a bottle of any of those and wanted to drink it, I'd surely be able to pair it with something. The bigger California Cabs and even merlots I also don't drink often, and would be more likely to drink as a cocktail wine, but could also pair them with richer red meats. Viognier and richer Rhone whites would probably be the biggest problem for me, but I don't care much for those wines anyway.

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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#5 Post by Mattstolz » February 10th, 2019, 9:47 am

craig v wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 8:38 am
This depends a lot on what you also like to eat most. We tend to eat red meat only once or twice a week so big reds like Cabs and especially syrahs don't fit a lot of our dishes. We eat more seafood and poultry.

My toughest grape to pair with the food we eat is syrah. We almost never eat anything with BBQ sauce or even many ribs period. And, I only really enjoy syrah from the Northern Rhone with 15+ years btl age when the aromatics really blossom and the wine turns more towards Burgundian elegant. Not dissing syrah just a personal palate preference for the food we eat and a personal preference for less weighty reds like PN, Nebbiolo and the like.

my wife and I almost never eat red meat but a lot of times I think more about the accompaniment like the sauce and the sides when I'm wanting to pair a piece of chicken or fish with a certain wine like Syrah or Nebbiolo. I do use my grill/smoker a lot of times to cook chicken and whenever I do a whole bird I use the bones to make stock. Keeping some of that stock around for sauces/rice/etc really helps pull a dish up to Syrah territory because of the smoke component. I imagine a good set of bones from a roasted bird would help in a similar way.

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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#6 Post by Paul McCourt » February 10th, 2019, 10:14 am

Gewürztraminer.

I buy bottles, then they just sit there because I never know what to do with them.

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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#7 Post by Markus S » February 10th, 2019, 11:00 am

John Morris wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 8:56 am
That's funny, Craig -- I love nebbiolo but find it relatively hard to match because of tannins and, consequently, I cook red meat so I can drink it! Different strokes. There's a difference between Alto Piemonte nebbiolo and the more concentrated and tannic Langhe wines, too. (I make a meat sauce with ground pork, chopped fennel, roasted fennel seeds and tomato sauce that is relatively light and works well with nebbiolo.)
Hmm, I find nebbiolo-based wines some of the ones I always turn to, even have them with fish and vegetarian pasta dishes. I find it is like sangiovese-based wines, but more versatile.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#8 Post by Marcus Dean » February 10th, 2019, 11:16 am

Paul McCourt wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 10:14 am
Gewürztraminer.

I buy bottles, then they just sit there because I never know what to do with them.
Drink with asian dishes, drier Gewurz goes really well with peking duck and a large number of Thai dishes

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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#9 Post by PeterH » February 10th, 2019, 11:20 am

Thirty years ago I would have said Chardonnay (except for Chablis). I had way too much, it didn't go well with most of the food we were eating, and I seldom drink wine without food. Then I discovered dozens of white wines that went well with light fare, and just about stopped buying Chardonnay.

Gewürztraminer I don't like. I don't run into pairing problems because I have none and will probably never buy any again.

I have lots of Barolo and Barbaresco wines in the cellar, and too few occasions to match them with food. I checked Nebbiolo in the survey.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#10 Post by J.Vizuete » February 10th, 2019, 11:40 am

John Morris wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 8:56 am
I agree that young French syrah can be a bit of a challenge, but I love a young, primary St. Joseph with lots of different foods. When Rhone syrahs are mature, I think they work with a wide spectrum of foods.

I find cab can be tricky. I don't like it with dishes with tomatoes, for instance, and avoid that compo.
Strongly agree on both counts. We had a 2016 Faury St. Joseph VV last night with lamb chops with demi-glace, glazed carrots and mushrooms. The pairing itself wasn’t monumental but the wine itself was so fresh and aromatic that it seemed to work.

I remember being told in a WSET course that a truly great food/wine pairing is difficult to create, but that most good wines and good food don’t repel one another.. Still working out this concept to see if I agree

I also answered cab, especially young or modern styled ones described above as cocktail wines, which although I do enjoy immensely on their own I find will overwhelm just about anything I can cook up. And I’m not interested in turning the smoke/heat volume all the way up to match the bigness of my cab (or zin, although I find zins easier to work with). So those I mostly drink alone. That’s what I love curating a diverse cellar -
Being able to pick a fitting wine for a wide array of meals and situations
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#11 Post by Paul McCourt » February 10th, 2019, 11:58 am

Marcus Dean wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:16 am
Paul McCourt wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 10:14 am
Gewürztraminer.

I buy bottles, then they just sit there because I never know what to do with them.
Drink with asian dishes, drier Gewurz goes really well with peking duck and a large number of Thai dishes
I'll try that.

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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#12 Post by GregT » February 10th, 2019, 12:49 pm

Gewürztraminer. Mostly because it's not that interesting after the first glass unless it's super dry and not too floral.

Frappato has a similar problem - the floral notes make it hard to eat with fish, at least for me, and it's not big enough for much else so I usually just have it alone or maybe with some cheese.

And Pinot Noir, mostly because I don't particularly care for it most of the time, although there are the occasional ones that are OK.

Otherwise, I have no trouble pairing almost all of the things listed. Tempranillo goes with everything, depending on the age and the producer and that's what we probably drink most of, but I've had no trouble having all of those grapes from time to time.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#13 Post by Bud Carey » February 10th, 2019, 1:00 pm

My grape is not on the list.... petite sirah.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#14 Post by todd waldmann » February 10th, 2019, 3:15 pm

Paul McCourt wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:58 am
Marcus Dean wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:16 am
Paul McCourt wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 10:14 am
Gewürztraminer.

I buy bottles, then they just sit there because I never know what to do with them.
Drink with asian dishes, drier Gewurz goes really well with peking duck and a large number of Thai dishes
I'll try that.
Asian food seems to occupy an ever-increasing percentage of the meals we cook at home. I have found Gewürztraminer to pair especially well with dishes that contain ginger.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#15 Post by Nowell Karten » February 11th, 2019, 3:46 am

todd waldmann wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 3:15 pm
Paul McCourt wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:58 am
Marcus Dean wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:16 am


Drink with asian dishes, drier Gewurz goes really well with peking duck and a large number of Thai dishes
I'll try that.
Asian food seems to occupy an ever-increasing percentage of the meals we cook at home. I have found Gewürztraminer to pair especially well with dishes that contain ginger.
If you haven't drunk all of your Gewürztraminer with its preferred-pairing of Thai food by next November, try it at your Thanksgiving table. Gewürztraminer will work with many of the salty/sweet sides on the table and, of course, with the turkey.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#16 Post by Nowell Karten » February 11th, 2019, 3:51 am

As someone who doesn't eat red meat, I have an excuse for not buying Barolo and N. Rhône.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#17 Post by Markus S » February 11th, 2019, 6:24 am

Nowell Karten wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 3:51 am
As someone who doesn't eat red meat, I have an excuse for not buying Barolo and N. Rhône.
Not really, especially with regards to syrah, because that pairs quite nicely with roast chicken.
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Re: Which grape do you struggle most to pair with the food you eat?

#18 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 11th, 2019, 6:46 am

No struggling. I regularly pair approx 15 on the list.

My biggest challenge these days comes from culinary changes at a favorite BYO restaurant. They issue their seasonal prix fixe menu in advance but it's always a challenge....as the preparations can vary considerably in terms of ingredient(s) dominating the dish...as well as acidity levels. Most daunting of late....sweetness. The place is using a LOT more sugar (or honey or maple syrup or whatever). I'm NOT a fan...but it is what it is. Sweetness can radically change the pairings so wines that should classically pair...fail. Some level of sweetness can pair beautifully (Chenins, Rieslings etc.), but gauging the intensity of sweetness is a mystery and throws the whole works up in the air. Instead of coming prepared for a classic pairing, you need to come prepared for anything.

RT

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