Taste and Individual Chemistry
tasting is actually a complex proposition involving much more
than simply sipping some fermented grape juice. There are many
variable factors that affect an individual's perception of flavor
in wine. There are chemical, physical, mechanical, physiological,
and psychological variables.. The type and quality of the wine
itself is only one aspect of tasting. Others are the size and
shape of the wine glass... the individual's impartial physiological
ability to smell and taste, as well as his individual flavor
Friends of Wine.
most important elements to pay attention to in pairing wine
and food are the acidity, tannin, alcohol, and any overt
wood flavors in the wine. Each one of these elements plays
a dynamic role in flavor—it enhances, magnifies, or suppresses
it—and in how food and wine feel in the mouth—smooth, rough,
hot, or sticky. These are all feelings that can be unpleasant
in excess (too much salt, for instance, or too much drying tannin).
They are also elements that can clash or work to each other’s
strengths. Knowing a little bit about how they combine will
help you to make choices that work more often than not..."Wineclubguide.com
comes in many guises. It can be blatant, like the sizzling,
juicy fat edging a steak, or a cream sauce napping a pork chop.
It can be more hidden, like within the richness of goose meat,
or in the dry crispiness of a French fry. Wherever it appears,
it adds richness. Fat can put up a barrier to a wine, though,
as it coats the taste buds and makes it hard to perceive delicate
flavors. Rich, fatty foods need wines that have enough flavor
and enough acidity to cut through the fat and announce themselves.
A wine with good acidity can cut through that fat like a squeeze
of lemon on fried fish, making it feel less rich and heavy (and,
typically, inspiring you to eat more). The danger is when the
wine doesn’t have enough acidity, and the combination collapses
under its own weight. What works: Fatty foods and high-acid
wines What to avoid: Fatty foods and low-acid wines..."Source:
The Basics of Taste, Part 2 --
will magnifies flavors, too much of it though and everything
will taste like salt. Just the right amount though salt can
be a very dynamic element, almost like acidity in its action.
That acid-like feel is good to keep in mind when it comes to
pairing with wines, as salty foods tend to taste even more addictive
with high-acid wines. Think Champagne and caviar or potato chips;
think Cava and the salty snacks that accompany it at the bar
in Spain; think seaside restaurants serving ocean fish and crisp
white wines. Salty food can also enhance the flavor of a wine,
a good thing unless there are elements that don’t need exaggeration.
Tannin in particular gets more unpleasant in the presence
of salty things—makes sense, right, since both of them are
dehydrating? Also, if a wine is very oaky and you don’t want
the oak flavors emphasized any further, then don’t drink it
with salty foods. What works: Salty foods and high-acid whites
What to avoid: Salty foods and tannic reds, oaky wines..."From
the wineclubguide.com --Notes from Wine Club Guide
wine with Fish
WHY DO MANY
RED WINES TASTE OFF WITH FISH?
of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Scientists from Mercian
Corporation in Japan have reported that the unpleasant, fishy
aftertaste noticeable when consuming red wine with fish results
from naturally occurring iron in red wine. This fishy taste
diminished when the researchers added a substance that binds
up iron. The findings indicate that iron is the key factor in
the fishy aftertaste of wine-seafood pairings, the researchers
say, suggesting that low-iron red wines might be a good match
with seafood. Source: Iron
Is an Essential Cause of Fishy Aftertaste Formation in Wine
and Seafood Pairing
PAIRING TIPS -- WINE AND FISH
WINE WITH RAW FISH -- Never use oak wine with raw fish. Sparkling
wines, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir
all seem to pair well with most raw fish dishes.
says" toast in wood offends the delicacy and purity of
the rawfish." Wine needs to be able to cut through fat
but not offend flavors... Riesling and Champagne -- high acid,
clean, pure wines are best bet.
AND FISH MADE EASY -- STARCHEFS.COM
fish dishes have an acidic component; most white wines have
more acidity than reds, and matching the dish’s acidity is an
important aspect of wine pairing. But some reds have more prominent
acidity than others, making them good “fish reds.” Whites also
lack tannins, which can be a major component in many reds, but
not all of them. And finally, whites are by-and-large lower
in alcohol, and their resulting lighter-bodied character is
less likely to overwhelm more delicately flavored fish...Some
modern Barberas fill in that gap with oak-aging, but traditional
Barbera is fruity, fairly light, and not very tannic—great for
of Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc (parent to both Merlot and Cabernet
Sauvignon) has another home territory: the Loire Valley. The
valley’s cool climate makes for a lighter-bodied but well-focused
wine, with spice notes and sometimes intense fruit. That density
and spice makes this style of Cabernet Franc pairs well with
earthy dishes, or oily, strongly flavored fish like mackerel
or trout..." STARCHEFS.COM
SECRETS OF THE SOMMELIERS RAJAT PARR AND JORDAN MACKAY
keep in mind when pairing fish -- Is skin on or off? Is it a
pungent fish or mild fish? Is it oily from cold water or nonoily
from warm water?
rule: Cabernet almost never goes with fish... the exception
is monkfish which needs to be prepared with mushrooms and red
Fish -- because salt makes red wines tighten up, tasting tannins
will obliterate the silk texture of most fish. So you need a
red wine with low tannins. Examples -- Rajat suggests: Pinot
Noir, Gamay, Valpolicella, Schiava, or light Dolcetto.
Fish -- when fish is poached Rajat says: "It almost requires
a white wine.". You need a white wine that matches weight.
Chablis, white Bordeaux, pinot grigioj and riesling are excellent
for ocean fishes of light to medium body like sardines, snapper
and sole. White Burgundy and other rich wines go better with
oily and meatier fishes like halibut, salmon, monkfish, cod
or grouper. With fresh water fish like trout or pike or even
catfish, Rajat likes a white wine with an earthy edge such as
Chenin Blanc or Gruner Veltliner or something with a hint of
sweetness such as a German Riesling.
the Sauce-- If a fish dish has a sauce it is good to pair to
or Grilled Fish- "Even
wine with a little oak is apt" --grilled fish is a good
opportunity to serve red wine because of the smoke" similar
approach to fish sautéed in a very hot pan. Heavy wine
is OK such as Pinot, Chianti or Gamay. Even bigger wines may
work... Rioja or Bierzo from Spain or Barbera... for a loup
de mer... Rajat liked the Cabernet Franc from Bourgeil.
means red wine territory according to Rajat -- Skin needs to
be dry, salted and a bit wrinkled...if it has been grilled (smoked)
you can bump the wine up a notch... safe bets are cabernet franc
from chinon... more oil and fat try Syrah, Grenache or Sangiovese....
Note: more oil and fat can handle more tannins..
Rajat does not recommend Pinot even though most feel it is a
classic pair..he likes pink rose ... or even a heavy rose from
wine with Chicken -- Belinda Chang -- director for the Modern
in Manhattan -- wrote wine notes for Charlie Trotter's Meat
usually doesn't matter, instead it's all about the sauce and
the accompaniments -- especially true with chicken and pork...
Applications: with heavily roasted, browned chicken served with
a highly caramelized demi-glaze... inclined to go with red wines,
Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo to light Rhones.
with spring vegetables go with a rose --Chicken
with a good dose of acidity such as lemon juice in sauce go
with a Sauvignon Blanc.
rules for pork are similar to chicken... In some cases the cut
of pork will influence wine pairing... a really meaty chop --good
acidity such as Pinot Nebbiolo, Sangiovese or Rhone Syrah.
-- which does not have a strong pork flavor, go with a light
red or medium-bodied white.
which has high fats go with more more tannic red to cut through
the fat. Though she also likes high acid whites like Riesling.
-- Chang likes wines with a hint of smoke "from the terroir,
not from the oak". look at Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Spanish
Priorat, and some southern Italian wines.
FROM SECRETS OF THE SOMMELIERS RAJAT PARR AND JORDAN MACKAY
Birds - Rajat says: The best match for game birds is Pinot
Noir -- made to go with squab, quail, partridge, duck, game
hen and goose. Pinots pure red fruits, light tannins and earthy
edge are a perfect match with the finer flesh and lighter flavors
of game birds.
meatier birds like goose and duck can take heavier Pinots, such
as New World wines as long as they have good acidity.Burgundies
such as Gevrey-Chambertin; younger wines or wines from powerful
vintages like 2003 or 2005.
birds, e.g. squab and quail, go better with lighter Burgundies,
such as Chambolle-Musigny, or wines with significant age.
Meats -- Red wine is great with beef --"Old world reds
never taste better than when paired with meat this is as feral
and wild as the wines are"...wines that have a gamy or
meaty component, like Brunello di Montalcino, Cote Rotie, Rioja,
Barolo and aged Bordeaux are excellent with strongly flavored
meats lie venison , rabbit, boar or lamb. Old world wines Rajat
says generally work better than New Waorld California Cabs or
Australian Shiraz not only because flavors are more woodsy and
earthy, but because their is better acidity. Acid is a counter
to fat... (like tannins) acid will also cut through sinuous,
lean, or otherwise more densely muscled game meat.
Wine with Beef -- Main reason of pairing red wine and beef
is the tannins found in red wine. Tannins need to be balanced
with protein and fat in meat. a nice cut of meat can counteract
any harshness in the wine bringing out more of the fruit from
the wine and the savory flavor of the meat.
Goldstein -- Perfect Pairings and Daring Pairings -- (his two
good red wine has everything to do with the fat content, which
involve both cooking style and the nature of the beef itself".
A well done steak will cut substantially the amount of fat.
Without the fat the wine has less to cling to so the tannins
won't get absorbed in the same way they would when serving a
more marbled steak.
and Unaged Beef -- Goldstein's rule -- since younger, juicier
beef is redolent of blood and fat, it pairs well with slightly
older Cabernets or Syrahs. Even though gentler tannins here,
Goldstein says dessicating the fruit and emphasizing bottle
bouquet and maturity, the juiciness of the meat will compensate
for what has been lost in the wine".
and Aged -- Will well done and stewed meats Goldstein says
it is best to serve a young wine that can replace the juiciness
that has been lost by stewing and aging. Since fat has been
lost wine's tannins must be kept in check. so the meat will
not be overwhelmed. Go with a Merlot, Cabernet Franc instead
of more tannic Cabernet. -- other softer wines like Granache
and Syrah are also good.
Meats -- Grilling imparts a smoky property to the food.--
also adds an acrid character to the exterior. Smoke works with
oak in the wine... but bitter character in char is not going
to offend tannin --e.g., it will not counterbalance the tannins...
check on these notes..Goldstein says pair grilled steaks with
younger reds that contain both tannin and new oak... young Bordeaux,
Cal and Washington State Cabernets and Merlots; New World Syrahs;
and Malbec from Argentinean.
vs. Grass Fed -- Grass fed meat has a different flavor and
texture than the classic corn-fed beef. Grass fed beef is generally
a lot leaner so less tannin is preferable. Grass fed beef can
tighten up if not properly cooked so a juicy, fruitier Malbec
may be a better choice than wine such as a California Cabernet
which may have too much tannin. Since grass fed beef may have
an earthier and gamier flavor a Cabernet-Franc-Merlot blend
from the right bank of Bordeaux or northern Rhone Syrah may
be a good choice.
beef is found to be a bit sweeter and more marbled than grass
fed. The steaks are richer and fattier. For these steaks it
is best to go with full flavored tannic young Bordeaux or Napa