The Grapevine

Food and Wine Pairing: What Goes with What – or with Whom

July 14th, 2017

We’re taking a slight departure from our usual food and wine pairing this week. [level-members]

Instead, I’ll take this opportunity to riff on a great column by Matt Kramer.

In that column, Kramer talks about the truth he finds in the Lucien Freud quote, “In the end, nothing goes with anything; it’s your own taste that puts things together.

And so it is with wine. Sure there are some combinations that just are not going to work – even if you try them repeatedly. But most rules are much looser and more easily bent to our own pleasures. That’s something that’s worth keeping in mind for our consumption, but especially as we’re offering pairing advice to our customers.

Resist the urge to tell them that you’d NEVER drink X with Y … (particularly if you’re adept at a snooty accent.) Instead, let them know that you don’t prefer a particular combination – explaining why – but noting that plenty of people have other opinions.

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to talk to the food I’m preparing to find out what I should be pairing it with, but I do think that taking into account the folks with whom you’ll be sharing the meal makes good sense. And not just because there’s no point in trotting out “the good stuff” for folks who won’t appreciate it. But because ultimately what goes together is a bigger question than just white wine or red.