Wine and Food Class...WB feedback.

I’m going to be giving a course on wine and food pairing at the store I work at. I’m putting together the format now, but I thought for fun I would put my ideas out here and see what kind of feedback the board would give.

I have structured the class to move through eight food types/groups. It will be sequenced much the way a multi-course meal would be. The foodstuffs will be presented as bite size canapes (I’ll be doing the cooking myself). I’ll will have a wine selected to most ideally pair with the particular course, and then for fun I’ll take a wine from another course to show a bad example.

First course is going to be salty foods. I will be pairing champagne with these:

*Skillet browned Russet Potato rounds w/Creme Fraiche and Caviar (type TBD).
*Deviled Eggs stuffed w/Hot Smoked Salmon

Now, my understanding of why this works is that the acidity and lack of RS in a Brut champagne harmonizes well with the elevated amount of salt in these foods. In fact the reason most successful food/wine pairings work is due to the flavor elements all achieving a harmony. Another supporting example would be dry fino sherry and salted almonds.

Interesting idea – but I am not sure that a lack of residual sugar explains why those wines go with salty foods. What do you drink with salty french fries? Coke-Pepsi-Chocolate milkshake, all of which have a ton of “RS”.

I was given a bottle of Moët Impérial and enjoyed it so much I have been buying it instead of the White Star – i.e. replacing a Brut with a non-Brut, the Impérial is not detectably sweet but just kind of comfortable in the mouth.

Don’t nuts go with the sweeter sherries as well?

At any rate I’m sure it will go very well Mark.

Good luck and great idea.

A really great learning experience and food match is an Extra Brut or Non Dosage Champagne with a salty/slightly salty and fatty meat. A basic Italian sausage you can slice up and Extra Brut Champagne is a great match. They both make each other complete and better. As a bonus, it isn’t an expensive food match and doesn’t take any prep work.

Cool. Keep it coming!

The next course in the class will be a shredded chicken taquito seasoned with chipotle chile, and softened with a small dab of guacamole.

The wine I’ve selected to pair is the JJ Christoffel Erdner Trepchen Spatlese 2008.

For me the reason this works is you meet capsacin heat with the residual sugar of the wine and lessen the burning sensation in the mouth and produce a mouthwatering reaction with the acidity of the wine. This to my mind creates the sensation of desire to continue to eat.

and Coke is always a better choice than… pepsi

Chipotle with Mosel. Terrific.

I’m sure you know that if you want a cheap 3rd selection to make your point with the Champagne:


Easy to do and the tasters will be surprised, it would be a take-away lesson that people would repeat at home.

If i were taking the class I’d be most interested in a variety of pairings and learning why they work or don’t work. Part of this is that I don’t believe in ideal pairings, but mostly because I’d want to see how flavors play together.

Because of cost limitations I have to keep it to one wine per dish. The discussions that will follow each course are to focus on why the pairings work (or not) and what other pairings might be successful.

The third course is acidic foods. In this case it is a seafood salad (squid, shrimp, mussels,) dressed in a lemon vinaigrette. The wine pairing will be a Pinot Grigio from the Veneto, Ermacora.

For me this will work because of the complimentary matching of citrus flavors, acidity, and balanced intensity. I am familiar with the wine and as Pinot Grigios go, it is very good quality.

That seafood salad could be used to illustrate very bad pairing if you poured a nice young cabernet with it…

Pairing salty with sweet… a creamy bleu cheese (Roaring Forties Bleu) with a wine like Tokaji (3 puttunyos) is quite delicious.

Please keep us updated on what you try in class. Sounds like fun!

Some folks like red wine with their hot foods.

Who'd a'thunk it? Brunello di Montalcino pairs with... - Epicurean Exploits - Food and Recipes - WineBerserkers" onclick=";return false;

I’ve drunk cru Beaujolais with Indian food and really enjoyed it.

Brunello with chili? I can see it…

We’re not going out to say that there are hard and fast rules, I always say drink what you like. This is just a course in basics so that folks who attend will have a foundation and can experiment from there.

The next course is aromatic foods, so I serving up Tea Smoked Chicken w/Basmati rice in a Pappadum.
The wine pairing will be Willm Gewurtztraminer.

Once again I’m playing the complimentary hand matching the aromatic qualities of Gewurtztraminer to the very complex aromas in the food. I may add a small degree of heat to the food as I feel the wine would handle that well also, but the main point here is the similar flavors of wine and food.

Very cool idea for a class and a discussion thread, Mark.

Every now and then I try to weave in some food pairing tips on my blog and one thing that has worked well for me is providing multiple examples to illustrate good and bad so that people can directly see the difference. So:

-Two different foods with the same wine to illustrate why one works and one doesn’t;
-Two different wines with the same food, same idea.

So, for instance, I did an episode about cab franc and paired it with one dish that had a sweetish sauce, and another with a savory dish with green pepper in it. The pepper dished brought out the resonant note in the cab franc, while the slightly sweet sauce in the other dish made the wine taste sour by comparison.

Almost forgot I started this thread, until last night when the actual event took place.
It was very well received, albeit a bear to prep for.

The next course was savory lean foods, so I presented Seared Tuna Loin on Toasted Rice Cakes with a soy reduction.

I paired this with a J. Mauceri Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2005

The rice cakes were made from sushi rice that I cooked, pressed out flat into a 1/2 sheet pan, and then sauteed.