One of the challenges of aging is being able to constantly experience "the new." Patterns emerge. Things begin to blur together. The world often becomes one long string of sameness, simply with a different hue, a different shade.
In order to jettison oneself out of this, some people turn to scrapbooking, some paint their faces and go to college football games to scream at 19 year-olds, others turn to heroin (I don't endorse the latter - aside from the terrifying human debasement of it all, it always seemed like a lot of work).
Well, about ten years ago, my wife and I found wine. About eight years ago, we found the stratosphere wine with food can reach. We were always around wine and food but something clicked a decade ago. Remember how, when you were eight years old, walking through a toy store was a candy-land of pure, unadulterated enjoyment? That's pretty much the same feeling we get walking through a wine shop or trolling wine sites.
We're no experts but we have built up a nice little wine pairing catalogue, part of which you can see here. Essentially, this is our hobby - our scrapbooking, our maniacal face-painting - even basing our travels around such things, with Rioja, the Douro, the Willamette Valley and Napa in the last two years. We Like this stuff. Because it's Good.
And it's always utterly, continuously fascinating and new.
I say all this not to give you my wine bona fides. There's little worse in this world than wine people whipping out their johnsons any time the topic of wine comes up. It's annoying. Worse, it furthers nothing. More to the point, wine is a enormously subjective beast and even pairing wine with food can be subjective. But I will say the philosophy of merely "drinking what you like with the food you like" can be sort of like driving a Yugo through the Rockies. Many times, that dog just won't hunt. It's flushing money down the toilet and this stuff ain't cheap.
With this blog, we'll merely tell you what food and wine pairing worked (and what didn't) in our world and why. If you're looking for how one cult Napa cab stacked up against another cult Napa cab, this probably isn't the blog for you. Use the Google machine for that.
But if you're curious if someone actually ate that Saveur recipe you saw of sea bass a la Veracruzana and wonder what the heck they drank with it, well, hey, we made that and stumbled into matchy-matchy wine pairing love with a 2001 López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Rioja. Total cost for the entire meal for two with wine? About $65. Had that meal nine months ago and I can still remember virtually every bite and sip.
Done well and food with wine feels like a Gift. We typically do just fine not because we're some intuitive geniuses but because we source well and do our research.
Maybe what we do will be of help to others and maybe what others offer will be of help to us.
First up. A recipe from someone who IS a crazy-mad genius - David Chang and his Momofuku bo ssam recipe paired with a 2009 Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Sec.
Looking forward to the discussion.
**Image above is an anise-flavored volatile compound salad matched with sauvignon blanc from a recipe based on the weird and wonderful book, Taste Buds & Molecules. While not the most riveting page-turner, the molecular food and wine pairing lessons in that book are eye-opening stuff.
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