difficult food and wine pairings

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page' started by phoebe, Jan 19, 2007.

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  1. phoebe


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    Cook At Home
    Sorry to pepper you both with all these very specific, concrete questions . I just find the way food changes the taste of wine and the way wine inhances or buries the taste of food as much fun as the chemistry set I had as a kid (and with no danger of blowing up the house :D ). That's why your book is really so much fun as a resource. But since we have you here right now:

    Which foods are the most difficult to match with wine and why?
    Which wines are the most difficult to match with food and why?

    I took a class once where the instructor said that one of the only foods that matches well with our heavily oaked California Chardonnays is buttered popcorn. Given that I'm no fan of woody Chard., I would tend to agree.:rolleyes:
  2. andrew dornenburg

    andrew dornenburg

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    Food Writer
    Our current answer would be that we can't think of any -- since we put all "the answers" in WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. Our hope was that our readers would never be stumped again!

    But of course the traditional answers to the questions have been:

    * Strongly-flavored foods, such as artichokes, asparagus, and vinaigrettes, and

    * Strongly-flavored wines, such as highly oaked or tannic wines (e.g. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon).

    They're just not difficult once you understand how to approach them, and the things you can do to make the pairings work even better. We provide tips on what to drink or eat with each.

    Your comment about oaked Chardonnays brought to mind this quote from Best Cellars' Joshua Wesson in WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT:

    "With eggs, stay away from wine with wood (i.e. oaked wines). Wood and eggs are an awful combination. If you want to make someone suffer, serve them barrel-aged Chardonnay with an egg salad sandwich!"

    Brian Duncan of Chicago's Bin 36 tells an equally hilarious story about the table he tried to warn against drinking Cabernet Sauvignon (which exacerbates heat) with their chile-laden dishes in his days at Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill -- and how one sip of an off-dry Riesling (which cools the palate) was all it took to convince them of the merits of that pairing!

    Karen & Andrew

    Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg
    Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Book on Matching Food & Wine - U.S.
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