Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pairings Schmearings

Last weekend, at Trader Joes, Dr Desert Flower and I found "Trader Joe's Guide to Pairing Food & Wine". I threw one in the basket, and then laid it aside when we got home. Looking at it today, I see that the recommendations Trader Joe's makes, are malarkey.

According to this recommendation sheet, Chardonnay goes with just about Everything, Cabernet Savignons are very limited, and merlots and sauvignon blancs, almost nothing. Perhaps this is true if considering only California vintages, or other limited populations, but taking a global view, their list is seriously narrow minded. And it hits only the common names that Americans seem to love, missing out on all the smaller varietals which continue to delight the palate. So I modified the TJ list, to my liking:

...and this doesn't even touch upon the Cabernet Francs, Nero d'Avolas, Sardinians, Puglias, Pinots, Beaujolais, Proseccos, Mourvèdres, Aglianicos, Barberas, Carménères, Montepulcianos, Gamays, Sangioveses, Tempranillos, Primitivos, and so many others. My recommendation would be to open a bottle of wine and try it with the food you're about to eat. If they don't pair well, then finish the bottle the next day with some other food. At < $10 a bottle, it's not a big loss. Some spicy, bold, tannin filled, full bodied wines go well with spicy, robust foods. Other times, a more subtle wine pairs better. Likewise, some mellow cheeses pair quite well with aggressive wines better than they do with smoother wines. Chacun ses merde - to each their own.

à votre santé! or... nazdrowie!

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