Which wine would you choose?Last night a friend called from a restaurant to ask which type of wine I'd pick to enjoy with a herb-encrusted salmon. The basic choices were all from California: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, gerwurztraminer, merlot and zinfandel. The food was expected to not be overly-spiced. Anyone care to voice their choice and explain why?BTW - He's not still at the restaurant waiting for everyone's reply!Cheers,bb
bb,I would select none of the above. I have had salmon with dill and with a very light white sauce and find it most enjoyable with a moderate to expensive champagne like Perrier-Jouet or Domaine Carneros, even Mondavi champagne (available only at the winery, and not every year). I generally prefer heavy tannic reds, but not with salmon. Give it a try!What did you recommend?Jeff
hey bb & jeff,I stumbled upon this off-topic board much to my delight, and this type of post on this board was the most intriguing.A great selection on Jeff's part. Champagne and sparkling wine is one of the most food friendly and most versatile wines you could have, but it is probably also the most overlooked. I would only add that you should make sure the champagne you choose with that salmon dish be a more substantive type of champagne such as a Bollinger, whose style is a bit more creamy, nutty, and most importantly, fuller-bodied to match the weight of the salmon.I would have either gone a buttery Chardonnay to match the salmon's body, or a full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc that was extremely crisp to cut through the Salmon's oiliness, but at the same time, be able to hold up.Hope to have future exchanges with you guys soon.L
leonshine,Welcome, I've been trying to use champagne with dining more often, but don't get to open it at home much since I am single, not dating and can't finish a bottle in one night. Veuve Cliquot is available in splits that are convenient for me, and quite likeable, there are a few others.I also have been trying some of the dark red champagnes available, most I think, are from pinot noir grapes. V. Sattui in Napa has a nice one, as well as Thornton winery in Temecula.Jeff
Hey Jeff, hopefully more people will post on this site and it will become much more active.In the meantime, it's great to hear someone is pairing food with champagne. If you are interested in sparkling reds, there are some really nice and intriguing sparkling shirazes from Australia if you haven't already indulged.Also, one of the great sparkling wine bargains in the world are cavas from Spain. A very nice sparkling wine to have with snacks on a regular basis. It's actually the perfect junk food wine because Spanish cavas go extremely well with salty foods such as potato chips.L
leonshine,Sparkling shiraz huh, sounds GOOOD! I shall track some down next hunt, along with the Spanish stuff.I've been impressed with Chilean cab and merlot too, great values from Montes Alpha and Veramonte.Jeff
There is no such thing as wine and food pairing. It's really wine and people pairing. A new discovery has revealed that certain people have more taste buds on their tongues than others. This means that people can be partial to areas on their tongue with more sensitivity. So in a sense, the wine is only right if the person drinking it likes that type of wine.As far as food matching, it is a myth. Any recipe can be "balanced" with some salt, lemon, or vinegar. Bitter flavors in food will increase the perception of bitter elements in wine. Sourness and salt in food suppresses the bitter taste in wine. After the recipe is properly "balanced" it will go with any wine you choose.You can read more about these components at http://www.vineswinger.com/wine/wine_pair.htmlC-
hey vineswinger,i am very aware of the studies on the amount and distribution of the four types of taste buds. this is not that recent. it's been and continues to be studied extensively at columbia university.and your comment that food pairing is a myth. well, that is really outlandish. of course, there's wine and people pairing, just as there is shoes and people pairing, and cars and people pairing. that obviously has to do with taste. that's the whole basis of why we like some things and don't like others.i like cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc. how do you explain that (to me) sauvignon blanc tastes better when i'm having oysters as opposed to having it with cab. and how do you explain that the cab tastes better when i'm having a steak as opposed to having that steak with sauvignon blanc??????L
"of course, there's wine and people pairing, just as there is shoes and people pairing, and cars and people pairing." I am making a scientific reference. The amount of taste buds someone has, directly relates to preference. If you would like to explain scientificly why someone likes certain cars & shoesI am interested in hearing about it.As for the pairing comment, it's all about the individual flavor components in the wine and oysters. Each wine is composed of Sweet, sour, bitter. Each food is composed of Sweet, sour, bitter and Umami. If each component has a quantified value, you begin to see pattterns in what works and what doesn't. It turns out that sweeter whites are much more food friendly than big reds. Conversely, sweetness in food increases the awareness of sourness, bitterness and astringency in wine. Oysters are high in umami flavors. Umami flavors in food will increase the perception of bitterness in wine, and seem to create a "metallic" taste. Saltiness or sourness in the food will neutralize the bitter umami reaction. I would try to balance your oysters with salt,lemon or both. http://www.vineswinger.com/wine/wine_pair.html
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