Skip to main content

WINE PAIRINGS: OLD RULES - NEW RULES

Let me be clear from the beginning, I am not a connoisseur. Of anything. I have opinions. I provide them to you for free. You'll have to decide their worth.

We live in the south of France, once Languedoc-Roussillon, now Occitanie. A friend calls our region the largest vineyard in the world. It is precisely that, the largest single wine-producing region in the known universe.  Seven times Napa Valley. Three times Bordeaux. More wine produced than in the entire USofA. So even if you are a friend of Bill, it's hard not to absorb a modicum of knowledge concerning the ancient art of vinification, if only through osmosis.

(For those not familiar with the term, being a friend of Bill means that you have forsworn alcoholic beverage in the manner of Bill W., a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.)

Anyone can drink wine, of course. The trick would seem to be to pair wine appropriately with the food being served. Articles and websites and books that discuss the rules for pairing wine with food abound. In the end, I have discovered that there are really only two overarching rules.

RULE #1 Conventional Wisdom. Proper pairings have been determined by general consensus over many years. Check out the chart below courtesy of Food & Wine through Wine Folly.


And you thought that the rule was simply Red = Meat, White = Fish. No, my friend. Life is too short and the wine trade is too lucrative. There are rules. You must follow the rules.

RULE #2 There Are No Rules. What sharp eyes you have. Yes, Rule #2 directly contradicts Rule #1. If a vintner can age rosé in oak to give it the kick of a light red, rules no longer apply. Drink what you like with foods that you like. Wear stripes with plaid. It's a new world.

Speaking of New Worlds, have you been to California recently? If you like charts like the one above, check out this one compliments of Leafly:



OK. Pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, recreational marijuana is now legal in California. In a state known for both its wine and its pot (even before legalization), should we be surprised that Wine/Weed tastings are now a thing in the Golden State? How about starting the day at a pot dispensary stocking up on smoke (at your own expense), then taking a bus to two different wineries to try out wine/weed combinations, then finishing up back at the dispensary just in case you didn't choose wisely the first time? All for under $200...plus the pot.

I am old. Acapulco Gold is not on the pairings list. Too retro even for California.

Should this be archived on my FOOD AND RESTAURANT REVIEW PAGE or my FRANCE PAGE? I'll decide later.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

GRAND CAFE OCCITAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

  We made our way to a new restaurant the other day, up toward the hills past La Liviniere in the small town of Felines-Minervois. None of our party had been there before, but a friend had visited and said that she'd enjoyed it. She's a vegetarian. First clue. Now don't get me wrong. I have no gripe with those who choose to go meatless. I understand the environmental concerns and I understand the horrors of factory farming. But I also understand that form follows function in the design of tools, in the design of appliances, and in the design of human teeth. Our incisors and canines did not develop over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to rend the flesh of a fresh-caught broccoli. We are omnivores by design, Darwinian design. And I enjoy eating omni. Enough preamble... I never went inside the Grand Cafe Occitan. A young lady who would be our server met us at the front door of the nicely pointed old stone house, leading us to a pebble-covered courtyard on the side

Kreuz Market vs. Smitty’s Market: Texas Barbecue in Lockhart

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t taste Texas barbecue until I was twenty-two years old. What the hell do I know about barbecue? And what could I add to the millions of words that have been written on the subject? Well, I know a bit about food. I’ve managed to check out a few of the finer joints in Texas – Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas, Joe Cotton’s in Robstown before the fire, the dear departed Williams Smokehouse in Houston, and the incomparable New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville . So I can speak from a reasonably wide experience. This will not be a comprehensive discussion of the relative merits of Texas barbecue as opposed to the fare available in places like Memphis or the Carolinas. It’s simply a take on our recent visits to Lockhart and the relative merits of Smitty’s versus Kreuz from our point of view. I’ll get all over academic in a later post. On our way out to the ranch in Crystal City, we stopped at Smitty’s. You have to look

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t