Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
User avatar
larry schaffer
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 7730
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 9:26 am
Location: Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#1 Post by larry schaffer » February 19th, 2019, 8:18 am

Or so says MW Tim Hanni, who knows a thing or two about the subject . . .

Tim Hanni continues to be one of the most outspoken folks in the wine biz when it comes to flavor profiling and food and wine pairing. Here he takes on the concept of food and wine pairing and calls the idea 'bulls&t' with regards to what somms should be doing.

I don't completely agree with all that Tim discusses, but I do believe he is spot on here. The idea of a 'perfect' pairing of food and wine is totally subjective and based on our own individual flavor profiles, our affinity to sweetness or bitterness or whatever, etc. Yes, there might be pairing that 'work' for some, but just as often, they will not work for others, and these folks may wonder what is 'wrong with them'.

In addition, we create more stress than we need to with wine consumers about having to worry about 'what to pair this wine with' rather than 'let's enjoy this while we enjoy some good food'.

I'm sure many of you may have some very different thoughts on this, but when taking part in the discussion, think of the 'general consumer', not all of our wine geek friends please :-)

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2019/ ... ment-17895
larry schaffer
tercero wines

User avatar
Anton D
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 30398
Joined: October 17th, 2013, 11:25 am
Location: Chico, CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#2 Post by Anton D » February 19th, 2019, 8:28 am

larry schaffer wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:18 am
Or so says MW Tim Hanni, who knows a thing or two about the subject . . .

Tim Hanni continues to be one of the most outspoken folks in the wine biz when it comes to flavor profiling and food and wine pairing. Here he takes on the concept of food and wine pairing and calls the idea 'bulls&t' with regards to what somms should be doing.

I don't completely agree with all that Tim discusses, but I do believe he is spot on here. The idea of a 'perfect' pairing of food and wine is totally subjective and based on our own individual flavor profiles, our affinity to sweetness or bitterness or whatever, etc. Yes, there might be pairing that 'work' for some, but just as often, they will not work for others, and these folks may wonder what is 'wrong with them'.

In addition, we create more stress than we need to with wine consumers about having to worry about 'what to pair this wine with' rather than 'let's enjoy this while we enjoy some good food'.

I'm sure many of you may have some very different thoughts on this, but when taking part in the discussion, think of the 'general consumer', not all of our wine geek friends please :-)

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2019/ ... ment-17895
When thinking of the 'general consumer,' anything beyond boxed wine is "BS," so why the heck would this so called expert need to chime in?

Tell him to get busy pairing Yellow Tail and Frose' with circus food.

Just thought I'd lead with... [stirthepothal.gif]

[cheers.gif]
Anton Dotson

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the fine red wine of Shiraz into urine?

R. Frankel
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1614
Joined: January 24th, 2014, 11:07 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#3 Post by R. Frankel » February 19th, 2019, 8:41 am

Wine pairing is mostly BS, especially for the mythical general consumer. Even for more Berserk types, or maybe just me, I find that pairing doesn’t really matter much. Almost any well balanced wine can go with almost any food. Most restaurant pairings that I’ve experienced were either generic (Chablis and Seafood!) or meaningless. A good white can go with almost anything. A heavy low-acid red almost nothing.

But. At the extreme ends of spiciness or sweetness, it’s harder, so that can take a little thought and experience. And many of us who have traveled in France or Italy have experienced those rapturous local wine/local food combos. These are not fancy gourmand moments, they’re just great tastiness born of local cultural experience.

And ofc each of our subjective tastes, mind frame, etc. vary wildly.
Rich Frankel

Gary York
Posts: 8008
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 4:02 pm
Location: Richmond, Va.

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#4 Post by Gary York » February 19th, 2019, 8:42 am

Please, not this again.
ITB

R. Frankel
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1614
Joined: January 24th, 2014, 11:07 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#5 Post by R. Frankel » February 19th, 2019, 8:44 am

One more thing: it’s obvious that food and wine pairing is first and foremost a profit-driving strategy by restaurants. In many restaurants, I’m sure the somm and chef put effort into finding good pairings. But $$ is the driver.
Rich Frankel

Justin S
Posts: 279
Joined: November 30th, 2017, 9:38 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#6 Post by Justin S » February 19th, 2019, 8:53 am

I tend to agree that there can be too much emphasis on finding a perfect pairing. The closest I've ever had to perfect pairings (i.e. I enjoyed both the food and wine more because of the other) was at Alinea in Chicago. Otherwise, wine and food are pretty flexible, as long as the wine is food friendly.

That said, as previously discussed in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=157139), there are limits to this. I personally would not drink Bordeaux with sushi and think the two items clash to the point of diminishing enjoyment of each.
$ ! n g h

User avatar
Hank Victor
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 447
Joined: July 21st, 2018, 8:36 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#7 Post by Hank Victor » February 19th, 2019, 8:58 am

Justin S wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:53 am
I tend to agree that there can be too much emphasis on finding a perfect pairing. The closest I've ever had to perfect pairings (i.e. I enjoyed both the food and wine more because of the other) was at Alinea in Chicago. Otherwise, wine and food are pretty flexible, as long as the wine is food friendly.

That said, as previously discussed in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=157139), there are limits to this. I personally would not drink Bordeaux with sushi and think the two items clash to the point of diminishing enjoyment of each.
But have you had CdP and sushi???

...

I read the article and I think he has a point that food and wine pairing shouldnt be overthought. A find a lot of pairings are personal preference and good wine will pair with good food. Some exceptions of course.
- ITB
Take a chance, Columbus did..

"Two years away from being two years away”

Gary York
Posts: 8008
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 4:02 pm
Location: Richmond, Va.

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#8 Post by Gary York » February 19th, 2019, 8:58 am

R. Frankel wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:44 am
One more thing: it’s obvious that food and wine pairing is first and foremost a profit-driving strategy by restaurants. In many restaurants, I’m sure the somm and chef put effort into finding good pairings. But $$ is the driver.
No, it is not obvious at all.
ITB

User avatar
Kevin Porter
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2081
Joined: April 29th, 2009, 11:17 am
Location: Near Philadelphia

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#9 Post by Kevin Porter » February 19th, 2019, 9:20 am

If you qualify it sufficiently - “general consumer”;”perfect pairing” - then calling it bs becomes a truism. Defined a little less stringently I think it denies the casual wine drinkers the opportunity to move from “wine is a beverage (which should taste the same every time)” to “wine is an agricultural product” as I think that considering wine to be part of a meal contributes to that realization.

Nate Simon
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2372
Joined: September 17th, 2009, 8:41 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#10 Post by Nate Simon » February 19th, 2019, 9:25 am

While I wouldn’t exactly say that food and wine pairing is complete BS, I would agree that it is mostly BS.
For the most part, it is a slight of hand parlor trick which allows sommeliers and other self-styled experts to aggrandize themselves.
I think that most of us can agree, however, that the ratio of the number of words written on the topic to the number of words merited by the topic approaches infinity.

Todd Hamina
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 3870
Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 2:16 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#11 Post by Todd Hamina » February 19th, 2019, 9:48 am

Every time is doesn't work.
Co-Owner, Biggio Hamina Cellars
-BiggioHamina

Stephen Pepe
Posts: 373
Joined: November 24th, 2010, 7:56 am
Location: Santa Rita Hills CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#12 Post by Stephen Pepe » February 19th, 2019, 10:17 am

When you phrase the question as a "perfect match" then of course there can be no debate. Perfect is in the mouth of the taster. However, Somms can be very helpful in recommending wines that you might not normally pick or exposing you to wines with which you are not familiar. For restaurants that have an extensive by the glass list and a knowledgeable Somm I have yet to be disappointed by having the Somm pick the wines. I have also been pleasantly surprised by Somms recommendations of wines I am familiar with but would have never ordered.
Stephen Pepe
Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines
Santa Rita Hills, CA

User avatar
Ian S
Posts: 272
Joined: January 29th, 2019, 11:51 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#13 Post by Ian S » February 19th, 2019, 10:18 am

It's not bullshit; it's subjective. What works for one person won't for another because of many factors, including their genetics (i.e. Are they a super-taster, or do they have a low count of taste buds on their tongue?). I've had pairings at family functions that some in the clan really enjoyed including me, but my father and brother thought tasted horrible together. Can't get much closer than that genetically, yet we perceived the matches differently.
S t 1 g 0 m a n

Alan Eden - Berserker [berserker.gif] and Master Pot Stirrer [stirthepothal.gif] forever!

Richard Jen
Posts: 22
Joined: January 24th, 2019, 5:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#14 Post by Richard Jen » February 19th, 2019, 10:19 am

"Echoing Sarah Heller MW’s opinion, Hanni warned that those who believe food and wine pairing has potential in China will be in for an unpleasant surprise.

“Thinking wine and food pairing will work in China will cause one of the biggest disasters in the wine industry we’ve ever seen,” he said.
In a typical Chinese restaurant setting, people order several dishes to share for the table. Each dish probably has its unique flavor, texture, etc. They are not served in sequence. At any point of time you have several main dishes on the table and you just take whatever you like with no fixed order. Even without wine, just having all various types of dishes on the table at the same time is a very different dining experience from the 3-course setting. How do you pair wine with food in that setting?

I guess wine and food pairing is great when it's done right. It's just not a must...

User avatar
Anton D
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 30398
Joined: October 17th, 2013, 11:25 am
Location: Chico, CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#15 Post by Anton D » February 19th, 2019, 10:27 am

Stephen Pepe wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 10:17 am
When you phrase the question as a "perfect match" then of course there can be no debate. Perfect is in the mouth of the taster. However, Somms can be very helpful in recommending wines that you might not normally pick or exposing you to wines with which you are not familiar. For restaurants that have an extensive by the glass list and a knowledgeable Somm I have yet to be disappointed by having the Somm pick the wines. I have also been pleasantly surprised by Somms recommendations of wines I am familiar with but would have never ordered.
Well said! [cheers.gif]
Anton Dotson

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the fine red wine of Shiraz into urine?

User avatar
Yao C
Posts: 674
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 10:53 pm
Location: Portland-McMinnville / SF

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#16 Post by Yao C » February 19th, 2019, 10:45 am

Richard Jen wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 10:19 am
"Echoing Sarah Heller MW’s opinion, Hanni warned that those who believe food and wine pairing has potential in China will be in for an unpleasant surprise.

“Thinking wine and food pairing will work in China will cause one of the biggest disasters in the wine industry we’ve ever seen,” he said.
In a typical Chinese restaurant... How do you pair wine with food in that setting?

I guess wine and food pairing is great when it's done right. It's just not a must...
I’ve had a bunch of Champagne and Bordeaux in banquet settings in China and Hong Kong and never had any sort of clash or issue. IMO any sufficiently acidic wine will work. Also worth noting that the Chinese drink copious amounts of tea with food, and that said tea is usually quite tannic

I think the compulsive need to carefully calibrate pairings is poppycock perpetrated on the unsuspecting public
C h 0 o n 6

User avatar
Yao C
Posts: 674
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 10:53 pm
Location: Portland-McMinnville / SF

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#17 Post by Yao C » February 19th, 2019, 10:52 am

Gary York wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:58 am
R. Frankel wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:44 am
One more thing: it’s obvious that food and wine pairing is first and foremost a profit-driving strategy by restaurants. In many restaurants, I’m sure the somm and chef put effort into finding good pairings. But $$ is the driver.
No, it is not obvious at all.
I’ve eaten at just about every 2 and 3 Michelin star restaurant in the Bay Area and I agree with Rich’s sentiment. The great majority of pairings are offered at high markups, even if there’s been a good amount of thought put into the selection. But of course it might be different elsewhere
C h 0 o n 6

User avatar
Mark Y
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7217
Joined: May 1st, 2009, 11:19 am
Location: Bellevue, WA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#18 Post by Mark Y » February 19th, 2019, 11:05 am

Anton D wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:28 am

Tell him to get busy pairing Yellow Tail and Frose' with circus food.

Has PETA ruined circus food as well?
Y.e.

User avatar
Anton D
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 30398
Joined: October 17th, 2013, 11:25 am
Location: Chico, CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#19 Post by Anton D » February 19th, 2019, 11:14 am

Mark Y wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 11:05 am
Anton D wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:28 am

Tell him to get busy pairing Yellow Tail and Frose' with circus food.

Has PETA ruined circus food as well?
Millennials ruined circus food.

To the point that circus food is dead at retail.
Anton Dotson

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the fine red wine of Shiraz into urine?

User avatar
J a y H a c k
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 12714
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 9:59 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#20 Post by J a y H a c k » February 19th, 2019, 11:17 am

I read the article. When he comes to my house and eats an entire plate of home made Fettuccine Alfredo with his choice of Schrader GIII, SQN Syrah or Saxum James Berry Vineyard from my cellar, we can talk. Otherwise, he can take the speech he gave to a gathering of Sauvignon Blanc winemakers in New Zealand and pour it in the cat litter where the cat pee flavor of SB will be right at home. I wonder if he was paid or if his expenses were covered by the inviting group or someone else in the industry. Maybe we have another Big J scandal brewing in which he tries to shill for a winery or group that is paying him. I have NO KNOWLEDGE that is the case, but inquiring minds want to know. I've heard enough vendor-fest presentations in my life to immediately ask the question.

And for thread drift porpoises:
Mark Y wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 11:05 am
Anton D wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:28 am

Tell him to get busy pairing Yellow Tail and Frose' with circus food.

Has PETA ruined circus food as well?
No, but they ruined circus souvenirs! No more baby alligators, baby turtles and baby chameleons (yeah, I know, they were technically not chameleons).
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

Eric S n y d e r
Posts: 856
Joined: June 7th, 2016, 2:47 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#21 Post by Eric S n y d e r » February 19th, 2019, 11:23 am

It’s not bullshit, but I’m more likely to notice a “bad” pairing where the food and wine clash than I am to notice a great one.

GregP
Posts: 464
Joined: October 15th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#22 Post by GregP » February 19th, 2019, 12:05 pm

Ian S wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 10:18 am
It's not bullshit; it's subjective. What works for one person won't for another because of many factors, including their genetics (i.e. Are they a super-taster, or do they have a low count of taste buds on their tongue?). I've had pairings at family functions that some in the clan really enjoyed including me, but my father and brother thought tasted horrible together. Can't get much closer than that genetically, yet we perceived the matches differently.
I think this is the crux of the what he said. In his mind, bullshit is because its so subjective.

Even some examples given above, let's take sushi as one. Are we talking about simply sliced sashimi, dipped into a touch of soy sauce? Or nigiri with attendant horseradish? Or even that same sashimi, but swimming in a sea of highly spiced up and hot (spicy) sauce, as seems de rigour lately in so many places? Rolls made with cream cheese (just who the hell thinks this Japanese in any way?), what do they go with? Saba (mackerel), very oily and way different than sake, hamachi or toro. How about shishamo (smelt, usually with row eggs, deep fried whole, head and all), its part of "sushi". Or ankimo (monk fish liver), more available these days, thankfully, as we used to find it only during winter months in years past? Ikura or tobiko with (raw) quail egg. How about amaebi, one dish with 2 completely different textures and preps? This is just a trip to a sushi restaurant, not a full list we usually do, but does one order different glass for each dish, because they are all very different in texture/tactile feel as well as in flavors? So, yes, he says BS, since there is no perfect choice, only a suggested one, and even then, if someone loves whites, but a somm suggests a red instead, why? I've had a number of suggested food and wine pairings, at high end places, and after a while I simply gave up doing that, its rare that my and some somm's palate match, and I am sure I am not the only one. In one case, wine actually was way below par for the food, that was at Le Cirque (LV), and wasn't even served at proper temps to start with.

He is also absolutely on point about French wines never really being made as "match" for food, they always, for centuries, were made NOT to compete with food and to play second fiddle to it (but who reads historical accounts these days, right?). And what is it with so many somms in USA insisting their restaurant serves "authentic Italian food", for example, made from AMERICAN GROWN INGREDIENTS of course, and yet in their minds only wines made in Italy seem to be a match for that AMERICAN FOOD? Same for French restaurants in USA, or whatever. Do these same somms somehow think that American BBQ places in France serve American wines? How about Vietnamese restaurant, again with AMERICAN RAISED INGREDIENTS, and surrounded by a sea of CA wine hundreds of miles in 3 directions, insisting that absolutely no American wine works with their food, as if Vietnamese wines do (sarcasm here). Somms are mostly full of crap, IMO, self serving and not really trying to do right for a paying customer.

Sure, there are some food pairings that make sense. And yet, they may make sense to me, but not to someone else. Thus, bullshit. Main premise of the article. Last time I suggested German Riesling with Thai food to someone I got this "Are you nuts?!" look, entire crowd was drinking dry reds and one bottle of a very dry white, all happily so.

One of the best customers at the famous Oyster Bar in NYC used to come in, order his usual 3 dozens of various oysters and a bottle of dry red Bordeaux. For decades, a few times a week. So, yes, bullshit, subjective, whatever. Point well made, correctly so. Somms are there to serve the PAYING customer, not visa versa as it seems lately.
G r e g P i a t i g o r s k i
I T B - i s k a r a n u w i n e

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16768
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#23 Post by John Morris » February 19th, 2019, 12:28 pm

There's lots of baloney around food and wine pairings, and it's hard to formulate general rules. Certainly "white with fish" and things like that are just dumb. So much depends on the sauces/coniments and other ingredients, plus things like the fat and acid levels in the food and acid/tannin/fruit balance of the wine.

But it's not BS if you pay attention. The truth is, most people never take the time to notice whether a dish makes a wine taste good or bad, or vice versa. Some people eat straight through a course without sipping wine, then drink between courses, then eat the next course without raising their glass. For them, it won't matter.

I've sometimes pointed out in wine events that a wine doesn't work with a food or cheese and other people have said, "Gee, you're right." They were just too busy conversing to focus on the fact that some things were awful matches. I think the good matches get even less attention.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
SteveG
Posts: 475
Joined: October 13th, 2009, 2:13 pm
Location: central Ohio

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#24 Post by SteveG » February 19th, 2019, 12:47 pm

As mentioned above, wine pairing in general is not BS, it is subjective.

Several nights a week I have the privilege of enjoying a food and wine combination which I (subjectively, of course) think makes each part taste better together than individually.

Anyhow, the whole proposition makes no sense. Wine is food...of course the interaction of flavors of what one eats together on a plate or at table matters. I like a nice steak, but prefer a savory, or at most mildly sweet sauce, bernaise, chimmichurri, maybe balsamic...but not peach ice cream. Everyone in our house enjoys brussels sprouts, and also chocolate cake....but not together.

I enjoy oysters with almost any crisp white wine (but prefer Manzanilla), and while I don't really have any problem with the person mentioned above who prefers red Bordeaux (not too tannic, I hope...), I would not much enjoy the pairing with milk, or root beer
steve gurevitz

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16768
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#25 Post by John Morris » February 19th, 2019, 1:48 pm

SteveG wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 12:47 pm
As mentioned above, wine pairing in general is not BS, it is subjective.

Several nights a week I have the privilege of enjoying a food and wine combination which I (subjectively, of course) think makes each part taste better together than individually.

Anyhow, the whole proposition makes no sense. Wine is food...of course the interaction of flavors of what one eats together on a plate or at table matters. I like a nice steak, but prefer a savory, or at most mildly sweet sauce, bernaise, chimmichurri, maybe balsamic...but not peach ice cream. Everyone in our house enjoys brussels sprouts, and also chocolate cake....but not together.

I enjoy oysters with almost any crisp white wine (but prefer Manzanilla), and while I don't really have any problem with the person mentioned above who prefers red Bordeaux (not too tannic, I hope...), I would not much enjoy the pairing with milk, or root beer
Well put.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
lleichtman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1369
Joined: June 28th, 2014, 6:28 pm
Location: Santa Fe NM

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#26 Post by lleichtman » February 19th, 2019, 1:50 pm

Justin S wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:53 am
I tend to agree that there can be too much emphasis on finding a perfect pairing. The closest I've ever had to perfect pairings (i.e. I enjoyed both the food and wine more because of the other) was at Alinea in Chicago. Otherwise, wine and food are pretty flexible, as long as the wine is food friendly.

That said, as previously discussed in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=157139), there are limits to this. I personally would not drink Bordeaux with sushi and think the two items clash to the point of diminishing enjoyment of each.
I have to second that. I thought they did a great job and introduced me to Ceritas wines that I had never had before. And I don't think food and wine pairing is BS. Agree on the Bordeaux and sushi and I find heavy reds don't pair with lighter fishes but maybe that's just me. I try to not get too specific on pairings and try unusual ones often but some go tos for me are always the same.
Lawrence G. Leichtman

User avatar
Ian H
Posts: 157
Joined: February 7th, 2018, 3:57 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#27 Post by Ian H » February 19th, 2019, 2:26 pm

The only part of the article I agree with (and I think he's making this point) is that people don't need to follow stuffy rules if they don't care to. It's your dinner - eat and drink whatever you like! Even though I would never choose to drink Sancerre with a big porterhouse doesn't mean you shouldn't.

I think food and wine pairing is lots of fun to figure out and sort of critical; so in a vacuum I would disagree with the headline of the article, but don't think that's the precise point he's making. I want to drink wine while I'm eating a nice meal. To my palate there are countless pairings that fight each other and don't work well; why would I waste a meal with the key players fighting each other? On the other hand when you find harmony between bite, chew, swallow, and smell and drink, that is fantastic.
@@S

User avatar
Brian G r a f s t r o m
Posts: 18188
Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 12:54 am
Location: westside

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#28 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 19th, 2019, 2:29 pm

That "article" contributes nothing to the ongoing conversation on this topic. The article is terribly short, conclusory, and condescending. Click-bait garbage.
Los Angeles Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury

“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.

CT handle: grafstrb

Nick Kra Mar Ski
Posts: 84
Joined: January 29th, 2019, 11:01 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#29 Post by Nick Kra Mar Ski » February 19th, 2019, 2:58 pm

I don't think anyone disagrees with the idea that, for the majority of people, certain styles of wines paired with certain styles of cuisine generally work well. But it means just that for the "majority" - is that the lexicon from which all people should be deciding what to drink with what? Absolutely not - but has anyone outright said that? Also no.

Structured wine pairings with meals obviously either 1) follow this general sentiment/agreement of style pairings or 2) reflect the palate/opinion of the curator. Those who agree obviously opt for it, while those who disagree, either with the "norm" or the curator's opinion, obviously aren't held at gun point to do so.

If you try to argue that there is a strict guide for food and wine pairings that works, you will lose - I don't think this is anything new.

User avatar
Hank Victor
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 447
Joined: July 21st, 2018, 8:36 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#30 Post by Hank Victor » February 19th, 2019, 3:38 pm

Here is a quick report he made and was published by Jancis Robinson. (Not behind a paywall)

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/files/pd ... Hww56YAg_Q
- ITB
Take a chance, Columbus did..

"Two years away from being two years away”

User avatar
Anton D
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 30398
Joined: October 17th, 2013, 11:25 am
Location: Chico, CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#31 Post by Anton D » February 19th, 2019, 3:42 pm

Ian H wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 2:26 pm
The only part of the article I agree with (and I think he's making this point) is that people don't need to follow stuffy rules if they don't care to. It's your dinner - eat and drink whatever you like! Even though I would never choose to drink Sancerre with a big porterhouse doesn't mean you shouldn't.

I think food and wine pairing is lots of fun to figure out and sort of critical; so in a vacuum I would disagree with the headline of the article, but don't think that's the precise point he's making. I want to drink wine while I'm eating a nice meal. To my palate there are countless pairings that fight each other and don't work well; why would I waste a meal with the key players fighting each other? On the other hand when you find harmony between bite, chew, swallow, and smell and drink, that is fantastic.
That's a great take.

I don't think anyone who's ever had a bad pairing could doubt that there are more auspicious pairings.
Last edited by Anton D on February 19th, 2019, 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Anton Dotson

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the fine red wine of Shiraz into urine?

User avatar
Mike Francisco
Posts: 219
Joined: March 30th, 2017, 1:59 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#32 Post by Mike Francisco » February 19th, 2019, 3:46 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 2:29 pm
That "article" contributes nothing to the ongoing conversation on this topic. The article is terribly short, conclusory, and condescending. Click-bait garbage.
+1

Tim Hanni is just throwing a bunch of Bullsh*t against the wall and hoping some will stick.

User avatar
Jonathan G
Posts: 63
Joined: February 17th, 2017, 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#33 Post by Jonathan G » February 19th, 2019, 4:43 pm

I'm curious if the article could be dramatizing the point Hanni's trying to make: that there could be several, if not many, wines that can work well with a dish and increase the enjoyment of your meal, and worrying about the "perfect pairing" in wine without being subjective to taste is a fool's errand, as it is in most things (What is the best music pairing for exercising? What's the best shirt to pair with a leather jacket?). Judging by the reactions and discussions, it's been successful in eliciting responses and views. I'd be curious if anyone who attended the conference could confirm that his comments were as combative the article portrayed them to be.

My thought on the matter is that the truth, as it often is, is probably somewhere in between. If we extend the idea beyond "food and wine" and think about "beverages and wine" it's simple enough to see that certain beverages work well with certain food. I know I'd rather have a glass of milk than a glass of orange juice with my brownie... but I concede a point could be made for coffee or tea instead. But being reasonably centrist doesn't grab headlines, does it? :)
G@

User avatar
John Glas
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1597
Joined: January 14th, 2010, 9:54 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#34 Post by John Glas » February 19th, 2019, 5:22 pm

One more thing: it’s obvious that food and wine pairing is first and foremost a profit-driving strategy by restaurants. In many restaurants, I’m sure the somm and chef put effort into finding good pairings. But $$ is the driver.
Bingo. The mediocre wines I see paired with food events in the Twin Cities is exactly a money maker. Every now and then you might see a really good deal on a wine dinner but not too often.

User avatar
Scott Brunson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: November 15th, 2011, 2:55 am
Location: in between coastal SC and south FL

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#35 Post by Scott Brunson » February 19th, 2019, 5:56 pm

R. Frankel wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:44 am
One more thing: it’s obvious that food and wine pairing is first and foremost a profit-driving strategy by restaurants. In many restaurants, I’m sure the somm and chef put effort into finding good pairings. But $$ is the driver.
Do I have to tip on the wine? [berserker.gif]

Of course pairings matter; some flavors simply don't work together.
(except for people with the palate of a yak)
Tous les chemins mènent à la Bourgogne!
On CT, I'm S1

Philip G
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 167
Joined: January 4th, 2019, 3:04 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#36 Post by Philip G » February 19th, 2019, 6:14 pm

I mostly subscribe to the Chef Francis Mallmann philosophy of drinking what you like:

“I do understand harmony in eating, but I feel it’s boring; I feel it’s for toddlers. I believe in clashes in the mouth. I like to eat something that’s delicious and a wine that contrasts with it, and they both fight me to convince me who is the best.”

We put potatoes and asparagus on the plate with a steak for variety. Why not the same for wine? Sometimes it is fun to try to pick a wine that will go well with what I'm preparing and see how the flavors interact. The other day we were making seared scallops with a carrot puree so I tasted a few whites I was considering and picked a Seavey Chard which really stood out well with the meal. That was satisfying.

I don't usually trust the wine "expert" at a restaurant to recommend a wine, especially if they haven't engaged me in what kind of wines I like and spent a few minutes with me over the options. I've learned my lesson in the past when the wine expert will try to recommend something they think will go well with what everyone at the table is having and it turns out to be boring and working well with nothing. I also don't usually do the wine pairing dinners unless it is food paired with a wine tasting and not the other way around.
Last edited by Philip G on February 20th, 2019, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
---------
Dr Good

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 6067
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#37 Post by Markus S » February 19th, 2019, 6:20 pm

Not BS, simply a way to sell more wine. ITB folks must love the combination!
$ _ € ® e . k @

Dan Sch
Posts: 122
Joined: August 30th, 2018, 11:50 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#38 Post by Dan Sch » February 19th, 2019, 6:55 pm

Having had many pairings and particular tasting menus, but certainly fewer than many here...

Komi in DC did it very well and even introduced me to some cool stuff along the way.

But a recent visit to Paris demonstrated how poorly it can go. We were at a couple restaurants on back to back nights, and both places we had sweetbreads in a relatively classic preparation. At the first restaurant, I had chosen a Lapierre Morgon. It was great, and complemented the sweetbreads (and the duck that my wife chose). Most importantly, it didn't get in the way.

At the second, well-respected and doubly priced restaurant, we opted for the pairing. Overall, the pairing was lazy at best, but the very young northern Rhone syrah they picked totally conflicted with the more delicate sweetbreads. Fun and useless anecdote, but perhaps some basic 'rules' of pairings do go a long way to producing an enjoyable match! While the incredibly specific and verbose deliberation that many restaurants pursue that perfect match, they are quite often just tiresome. BYO for the win every time.
Dan Schoeff

User avatar
Brian Tuite
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 19170
Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:53 am
Location: Podunk CA

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#39 Post by Brian Tuite » February 19th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:58 am

But have you had CdP and sushi???
Only from magnum.
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

"On self-reflection, I think a big part of it was me just being a PITA customer..." ~ Anonymous Berserker

"Something so subtle only I can detect it." ~ Randy Bowman

2019 WOTY...

G. Keeler
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 296
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 12:03 am
Location: OC

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#40 Post by G. Keeler » February 19th, 2019, 9:04 pm

I don’t think it’s BS but agree some can make it a bigger deal that it is. In our house, we only really drink wine in the context of a meal so we do pay attention to how the wine will work with the ingredients we are preparing just like we think of how the protein will work with the sauce or starch or veg, etc. While I have strong preferences for certain pairings, I due think that most dishes offer a lot of choices. I made a roast chicken sunday and was in the mood for a red burg. It worked great but I could have went a ton of directions with the dish and none would have been wrong.
G L E N N

User avatar
GregT
Posts: 7969
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 3:12 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#41 Post by GregT » February 20th, 2019, 8:25 am

Anyhow, the whole proposition makes no sense. Wine is food...of course the interaction of flavors of what one eats together on a plate or at table matters. I like a nice steak, but prefer a savory, or at most mildly sweet sauce, bernaise, chimmichurri, maybe balsamic...but not peach ice cream. Everyone in our house enjoys brussels sprouts, and also chocolate cake....but not together.
This is about right. It's also why the article isn't such bullshit. My wife hates chimmichurri and I would never put a rare balsamic vinegar into a steak sauce. People have preferences.

But you don't have to put everything in your mouth together. Eat some asparagus, sit for a minute, maybe have a bit of the squash, and then after you swallow, sip the wine. The flavors don't interfere at all.

As far as pairing goes - Germany is pretty cold. They don't do a lot of red wine. But they do like their game with some spaetzle. Maybe venison, maybe goose. I have a hard time believing that the nobles in years past refused the food because they didn't have a big red on hand and only had barrels of Riesling.
G . T a t a r

[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16768
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#42 Post by John Morris » February 20th, 2019, 8:29 am

Somewhat sweet riesling goes great with game, actually, so they had themselves an excellent pairing.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
Claus Jeppesen
Posts: 1723
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 2:42 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#43 Post by Claus Jeppesen » February 20th, 2019, 10:21 am

You are an ignorant if you pair red wine with lots of food pileon
White wine: not so much
If you think af CdP in Magnum with sushi [snort.gif] [snort.gif]
Think again. champagne.gif
A 35 year old Sercial or Prüm is better.
Claus

Riesling and Slate

Glenn P
Posts: 23
Joined: December 14th, 2018, 7:42 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#44 Post by Glenn P » February 20th, 2019, 5:50 pm

Of course its subjective and I agreed in the past with much of what has been said but I had on multiple occasions the wine pairings for the multiple course meal at the late Charlie Tortter’s resturant. It was celestial, unbelievable unlike anything else. Blew me away. I believe chefs who know a lot about wine, such as Wolfgang Puck, are the best at pairing.

User avatar
Mattstolz
Posts: 1331
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 7:46 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#45 Post by Mattstolz » February 20th, 2019, 7:40 pm

I can't totally disagree with the BS aspect. mostly because it doesn't matter how perfect a pairing is if you don't like the wine or the food.

on the other hand, a good pairing can make them both better!

User avatar
David Glasser
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6542
Joined: August 16th, 2009, 6:03 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#46 Post by David Glasser » February 20th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Pairing is a made up pseudoscience?
I’m OK with that. I’ve heard experts put forth diametrically opposed explanations for why a certain match should, or shouldn’t, work.

No such thing as a perfect pairing?
Maybe, maybe not. I’m not sure how to define perfect, but I’ve had some doozies where the whole was so much greater than the sum of the parts. The thing is, they were almost all serendipitous rather than planned. Not predictable or repeatable.

Pairing is bullshit?
Nope, that’s bullshit. Attention-seeking hyperbole, or click bait as someone said above. Some things do go better together. Repeatably. Predictably. Though my preferred pairings may differ from yours.

Alex N
Posts: 154
Joined: December 3rd, 2018, 1:57 pm

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#47 Post by Alex N » February 20th, 2019, 9:37 pm

I had to learn about wine and pairing at a fine dining job because I had to recommend wines to go with the dishes. I learned about acidity and richness and flavors in the wine and how they match or are a contrast to certain types of foods. A multi-course dinner with really good food and really good wine pairings, prepared by a real chef and the "right" somm will probably be better than anything you'll ever make at home. But yeah, I drink undecanted young red cab monsters with the halibut caught last summer, crush the sauv blanc (often with ice cubes in a coffee stained coffee mug) when I grill ribeye in the heat, who phucking cares?
@13x N1ch•!z

edwardmilstein
Posts: 440
Joined: July 23rd, 2010, 8:06 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#48 Post by edwardmilstein » February 21st, 2019, 7:52 am

To be fair, I don't think I've ever had an epiphany wine and food pairing.Have had some good ones, but nothing that elevated the food and wine together to ethereal heights.Hope I do someday, but in general, I drink and eat what i like and hope they go well together.If not, I just enjoy them separately.
drinker,drinker,drinker,collector,negotiant,importer.ITB

Sarah Kirschbaum
Posts: 2547
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 11:53 am

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#49 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 21st, 2019, 9:13 am

David Glasser wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Pairing is bullshit?
Nope, that’s bullshit. Attention-seeking hyperbole, or click bait as someone said above. Some things do go better together. Repeatably. Predictably. Though my preferred pairings may differ from yours.
Yes. Thank you.

User avatar
K John Joseph
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7352
Joined: June 8th, 2011, 11:55 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Food and Wine Pairing is Bullsh*t . . .

#50 Post by K John Joseph » February 21st, 2019, 9:38 am

larry schaffer wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:18 am
we create more stress than we need to with wine consumers about having to worry about 'what to pair this wine with' rather than 'let's enjoy this while we enjoy some good food'.
I've been somewhat outspoken on this issue in any number of threads on this forum on just this subject. Wine and food pairing often wastes effort trying to create some perfect union when, most of the time, we either just want to have a nice glass of wine and a nice meal or mostly enjoy each of those pieces of the meal separately. Are there some things that go well together, like simple roast chicken and burgundy or lamb and syrah? Sure. But what I often see at restaurants is a group of folks who either end up drinking something they wouldn't usually prefer because it's a "great match" or changing their meal choice to better match what's being ordered for the table or for the wine they're enjoying (and don't want to switch).

The result is that folks are often willing to deny themselves something they want, hoping that the sum of the parts is better than the potential enjoyment they can get from their otherwise preferred individual parts.

THAT is why I think focusing on wine pairings is bullshit. It's not that there aren't good pairings--though everyone's mileage may vary (I mean, if you don't like burgs maybe roast chicken and burgs isn't a good match for you)--it's that pairings are often so overblown in importance that I think pursuing pairings can actually result in a decline in the overall enjoyment of a meal.

I am a pretty slutty wine drinker. I can enjoy most wines and am not picky with food (though cucumbers are disgusting). I get to enjoy fantastic restaurants when I travel for work and seek them out when I travel for pleasure. I've had dozens of wine pairings with tasting menus at restaurants and finally wrote them off entirely last year.

Even despite my openness, I've simply had far too many "perfect pairings" that included wines I don't really want to drink, never would have ordered, and didn't find to improve the meal even if there was some harmony. In almost all of those circumstances I would have been much, much happier with a wonderful bottle of champagne, or a great red that I could enjoy over the meal and experience any highs and lows in showing associated with changes in food.

How many folks are happy to enjoy a nice chardonnay with some pre-meal cheeses even though it's a bad match? Cabernet and chocolate? Another terrible match. Oh, one should have port or sauternes or ... but most folks just don't want to drink those wines even if a perfect and harmonious match. If wine and food are both about enjoyment, focus on the enjoyment and not on the quest for a perfect pairing.

And that's all aside from the fact that I tend to focus on the wine separately from the food when I have a meal anyway.
J0hn-J-K4ne

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”