Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 104.5FM. The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”. The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 11:00AM MST.
It’s 2013 — welcome back to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©. I decided on today’s show topic as it occurred to meet late in 2012 how important relationships are, something I have always known of course. But I took a moment to reflect on just how important it is in this chaotic world to take a moment, no matter how busy I am, for friends and family.
One of the ways that I do this in my life is to share wine and food with you, my friends on air and also through wine tastings and intimate dinners with friends and family. Interestingly enough today’s show is all about pairing wines and food so we will be talking about balance which is also the point of today’s commentary for the New Year, finding a balanced and more harmonious lifestyle.
In approaching the topic of pairing wine and food let’s remember the number one rule on the WineGuyMike show, we have no rules. All kidding aside this is a great guideline to be bound by no rules, but I will say when a wine is well paired with a meal it is a bite of nirvana.
There is much mystique and some draconian like attitude surrounding wine and food pairing, this can be unfortunate. The hard-line approach is sometimes common amongst want to be wine experts and myopically focused sommeliers. Pairing wine and food should be fun, exciting, and a little challenging as you are thinking about a preparation for a special social gathering albeit large or small and intimate. I am not suggesting that considering a few very common sense guidelines will not enhance your enjoyment of wine and food because it will. My encouragement is to not over think this process, consider your guest(s), and to enjoy the moment.
When one considers wine and food thinking about balance is helpful. The balance of both weight and texture of wine and food is a good place to start when determining what wine works best with what food. Here are a few other things to think about when choosing a wine too:
- What wine do you like to drink? Perhaps more important what type of wine does your guest like to drink? Finding the right wine amongst two friends in itself is an act of pairing, is it not?
- Consider the texture of the food, is it heavy or light? Is it a rich or light dish?
- How is the food prepared, has it been Grilled, Baked, or Sautéed?
- What about sauce? Sauce has a significant impact on food, is there a gravy, crème or tomato sauce in addition to the food itself?
In considering balance, and in this case I’m referring to weight and texture of the main food entrée and the weight and texture of the wine, I will be choosing the appropriate wine to serve with my dinner. What is my method of food preparation? Am I dining in a restaurant? This too can be a double edged sword as my guest more than likely will be ordering something very different than I will. So now I have to find a wine that is suitable for both meals, or if the establishment serves wines by the glass and I know their wines have been handled correctly that will be an option for choosing the right wine with the entrée.
Here are a couple more things to consider while contemplating the most appropriate wine to serve with dinner. Just as foods have texture and firmness wines also have a quality of texture and weight. Remember we are looking for balance and synergy between wine and the foods they are paired with. A big robust full bodied wine bold on texture should not be paired with delicate dishes, nor should they be paired with a food dish that is big on flavor. Big wine and big flavor just don’t work well together, we are looking for that simple harmony between food and wine, not a power struggle. Mild food dishes do well when they are paired with a wine that is medium to light in body.
What then are some of the basic parameters to consider when pairing wine and food? When choosing wine the preference is medium to lighter bodied wines that have a balance of fruit and acid, have soft supple tannin qualities, and have moderate alcohol levels. The best white wine to use in pairing wine and food are Pinot Gris or, as it is known in Italy Pinot Grigio, and Chenin Blanc. Both of these white wines have a great fruit profile and the acid is a little higher than other grapes and the acid is what brings out the flavor so wonderfully in food.
When it comes to red wines there are a couple of things to consider. Just like your white wines medium to light bodied wines are best when pairing with food along with the other attributes I just mentioned. The red varietals that will always work great with food are; Barbera, Gamay, and Pinot Noir. There is a new wine on the block too that works very well with food, Frappato. This grape is a native Sicilian grape that is in favor with cult wine drinkers who enjoy pairing wine and food. Another good rule of thumb to remember with red wines is that if they are light enough to see through in a glass they will work with food fairly well.
In closing I would like you to remember to consider what is really important, the relationship with your dinner partner or guests and please don’t over think the wine and food pairing. It’s just not that complicated or important, you should enjoy what you and your guest(s) like. I want to wish all of my listeners an a New Year filled with thoughtful relationships, and good health. With this thought in mind I toast to you.
Be sure to check out the blog at WineGuyMike.com for my wine suggestions and if you live in Missoula be sure to visit Liquid Planet for your ultimate wine shopping experience. I’ll see you on the radio friends.
For a great selection of wines to pair you food with be sure to visit Liquid Planet, Missoula’s “Best of Beverage”, located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.
The wines suggested today receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™ www.wineguymike.com is your wine resource.
From my table to yours,
YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum
Facebook; http://on.fb.me/hvHsil please “like”
Todays podcast on pairing wine and food; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2013/01/06/wine-guy-mike-for-january-6/
This weeks WineGuyMike YouTube preview on pairing wine and food; http://youtu.be/DAcXPbZr0TI
Last Weeks podcast on Champagne and Sparkling Wines; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/12/30/wine-guy-mike-for-december-30/
Recent podcast with wine visionary David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyard; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/12/23/wine-guy-mike-for-december-23rd/
Recent podcast featuring Christophe Hedges of Hedges Family Estate; http://www.trail1033.com/Podcasts/Podcast-Wine-Guy-Mike-for-December-9-554603
YouTube preview for this week’s show featuring David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyard; http://youtu.be/i8cwHoT0Dpk
Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/
NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html