General Wine and Food Relationships
There are several consistent food and wine element relationships in these classic marriages.
First, there are several examples of matching food texture to wine texture. In Bordeaux, fattiness in lamb
is matched with the tannins in these predominately Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The richness
of foie gras works with the richness of Sauternes due to the palate-cleansing qualities inherent
in this crisp, sweet wine.
Similar to the red Bordeaux and lamb match,
the Tuscan combination Bistecca alla Fiorentina
and Chianti matches food fattiness to tannin as
well as body to body based on the cooking method
employed for the food (grilling).
Second, there are several examples of food
and wine matches that use a flavor match: the
earthy flavors in Coq au Vin with those of a red
Burgundy, the earthy/intense flavors of dishes
made with white truffle paired with intense wines
using Nebbiolo grapes, and the buttery flavors in
California Chardonnay matched with similar flavors
of butter-dipped Dungeness crabmeat.
The impact of wine acidity is highlighted in
a number of situations. Tangy foods paired with
crisp white wines are an acid-to-acid match in marriages
such as Sancerre with goat cheese. And the
acidity of German or Alsatian Riesling is a contrast
to the fattiness in pork and other meat dishes.
Port wine matched with Stilton cheese provides a classic example of a contrasting
match, with the sweetness of the Port standing out against the salty character of the cheese.
All in all, these marriages indicate that there are substantial differences in the type of
matches in different locales, whether Old World or New World. But there appear to be
some consistent relationships in the perception of match among components, texture, and
flavors that crosses cultural boundaries.
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