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

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first…

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless.

From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch.

Let me count the ways...

RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking about, or …

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…