The Culinary Value of a Well-Made Wine

Beautiful young couple with glasses of red wine in luxury restaurantI was chatting with a winemaker who is based in southern Oregon the other day while we ran through four of his current releases.

Because he has been both a full-time winemaker and a part-time consultant for numerous well-known wineries over the course of his career, he asked that we keep parts of our conversation off the record. We agreed that I could write about these specific topics, but not attach his name to them.

The topic I’d like to share with you today involved wine and food pairing. When I taste wines with the person who made them, I always make a point of asking what they would suggest eating with them.

Often, I’ll get completely “by-the-book” answers. Sometimes, if the winemaker happens to be a foodie, some really creative combinations will be suggested.

Then there was the answer I got from this particular winemaker.

“You know,” he said, “I know it’s not fashionable to say this, but if you have a wine that is really well made — meaning it’s in good balance — it will go with pretty much anything. Obviously, there are some food ingredients, like lemon, that would throw the pairing out of whack. But in most cases, a good wine will go well with a lot of different things.”

I asked him for some examples — nothing so specific that it would reveal his identity, but simply certain types of wine with certain types of food — and after thinking about it for a moment, he came up with two non-textbook pairings:

  • Chardonnay with Chinese food — specifically, General Tao’s Chicken from Panda Express.

While the first suggestion, although not typical, is fairy easy to understand, the second is not. But that’s exactly the point: If the wine is well made, and one has an open mind, the food and wine pairing possibilities are limitless.

With that in mind, check out this opportunity save on favored wines on clearance. The wines are guaranteed to be of exceptional quality. What food you decide to pair with them is totally up to you.

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Posted in Editor's Journal, Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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