When reading about what foods to pair together,
i wondered if there was was a general science
or philosophy of pairing foods.
My guess is the goal to maximize pleasure.
Using the human mind and human tasting hardare,
is there a general way to maximize pleasure
through food combinations?
It is a matter of what your palate likes in terms of tastes and textures.
the general red with meat white with fish is an example. Dover sole is
fairly light and would not usually be prepared like beeef with a brown
sauce, similarly one would keep the wine lighter.
Salmon as is often noted is a heavier fish and like Tuna lends itself to
fine mates with red wines. Tuna steak is one fish that I have trouble
matching with a white at all.
As jcoulter pointed out, there are some guidelines but it is really a
very personal thing. You will hear a lot of dos and donts about
asparagus, olives, peanuts, spinach, soups, cheeses, but almost all
can be proven wrong. There are some guidelines such as those provided
by jcoulter, they are a good start.
Look up the archives of this NG and you will find some good threads
about food and wine matching. Ian has theorized at length about this,
and he is a very good food-wine matchmaker.
Mike Tommasi, Six Fours, France
A typical Italian dinner structure should be studied, in any Italian
I grabbed these from the internet too:
The meal starts with an antipasto, which simple means before the meal
and can be almost anything. The meal then follows with pasta or soup,
then the entrée. The vegetable and salad may be served with the
entrée or as the next course. Followed by cheese and fruit and
desserts on a special occasion (like a dinner party). Finally the meal
ends with a nice cup of coffee. The meal itself is served with a nice
bottle of wine thought out the meal, rather than a different wine with
The first course was usually an antipasto of meats (Prosciutto, salami
and ham), marinated vegetables, cheese such as provolone and
mozzarella, and roasted red peppers. You'd better take a little walk
after that course to get ready for the following items. There might be
a soup course; a stuffed pasta dish such as homemade ravioli, lasagna
or manicotti; meat that was cooked with the gravy including meatballs,
sausage and braciole; roasted chicken and/or roast beef. Sweet
potatoes, stuffed artichokes, salad and string beans could all serve as
The dessert course completed the final couple of hours since it
included fresh figs or other seasonal fruit, cakes, pignoli cookies and
Italian pastries. Nuts in the shell sat in bowls, waiting to be cracked
and picked over as the grownups engaged in heated discussions.
If you don't want to cook Italian, I have nothing to say...
I even have a Roman cookbook.
With 2000+ years of cooking and wine-making experience, it is to Italy
one should look. The only reason that F____ has grapes is because the
Romans brought them there, so the generals would have something to do.
The Gauls had no wine-making cuilture.
All roads lead to Rome.
In article , firstname.lastname@example.org says...
There are no "hard and fast" rules for food-wine pairing. There are about six
things that can happen:
1. The food and wine are good and enhance each other, equaling a sum greater
than the respective parts.
2. The food and wine are good and the food gets better with the wine, but the
wine, pretty much, stays the same.
3.) The food and wine are good and the wine gets better with the food, but the
food is not enhanced by the wine.
4.) The food and wine are good, the wine stays the same, but the food doesn't
work with it.
5.) The food and wine are good, the food stays the same, but the wine doesn't
work with it.
6.) The food and wine are good, but combined, neither is nearly so good.
There are several ways to pair food-wine. You can look for similar textures,
like salmon (some fat and smooth texture in the mouth) and Pinot Noir (usually
smooth and silky in the mouth). One can look for similar taste
characteristics, and textures, or you can actually look for opposites, as
these can definitely be sauces, etc., like raspberries and a Merlot, with
raspberries in its flavor profile. Smokey grilled meat pairs with Syrah,
especially from the Northern Rhône. If the meat is fatty, like beef, then the
tannins of a Cab, or maybe a Merlot, will cut through the fat and usually
marry with the flavors of the beef - this is an opposite texture, but works.
An affinity of flavors, like a cream sauce, will often work well with a "
buttery" white, like many CA/US Chardonnays.
Here we have similarities, or opposites, in textures, tastes, etc. I like to
serve raw walnut halves with a young Cab, because the tannins in the raw
walnuts often overcome the tannins in a young Cab. Even some of the "tried ‘n
true" matches have been discussed here. There are probably few that work for
everyone - it's a matter of personal tastes.
As has been stated, you might want to do a Google.Groups search in this news
group for "food wine pairings" as much has been written. These could easily
work as starting points for you. I don't think I have ever seen anyone posting
pairings that I feel are ludicrous, but I suppose it has happened. Though not
all work for ME, I assume that they DID work for the poster.
The best place to go, after you have looked at the back posts, is to do some
good food, and then see how your palette reacts to good wine paired with it.
Sometimes, we get into a bit of a rut, as I do with almost always pairing
smokey duck with Côte Rótie. Recently others have headed in a different
direction, but so long as it works for me, I tend to not deviate too far from
Back to my list at the top to this post: 1-3 are more often the case, than are
4-6, so have fun and enjoy - best of all with good friends, or loved ones.
just read the thread and the answers all refer to food & wine pairing. Is
this what you were asking? I read that you were asking about pairing just
FOODS e.g. Tomatoes & Basil (Yes for you Mr Scarpitti :) ) Could you
My intention was broader than wine and fine, but that's good too.
In your example, why are tomatoes and basil a good pairing? And
can that information be used to suggest other pairings that one
might not have thought of otherwise.