“ When I first got in touch with wine and sophisticated food I was a gastronomy student. I loved the whole atmosphere but little did I know how fascinating the world of textures and flavours was. Later I learned that wine is the one that may and should enhance it. Besides, when the perfect match between food and wine happens, everything makes sense.” Lívia Novais-Sommelière
The concept of pairing comes from the organoleptic aspects of wine and food. Flavours stem from combinations that may either enhance or ruin a meal. It depends, generally speaking, on common sense, but also on the knowledge of the characteristics of the wine and food to be served. To give a simple example, wine must never xxx food, but the opposite is expected.
Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that no rules should ruin the art of eating well. I personally do not take it as an extreme concept. All in all, one should eat as they please. The rules as a sort of guidance, that can be understood and tested so that the results can be seen and felt.
Nowadays, there is great expectation towards deriving pleasure from eating and one has become more and more critical concerning every aspect of this art. Wine is undoubtedly related to this art, in a direct way. However, this can become very frustrating if we do not pay enough attention to a few essential details. An example is when a potent and tannic wine is chosen to be served with fish. It might end as a gastronomical disaster. Yet, every rule has its exceptions and one must try the traditional Portuguese sardines with the red Vinho Verde, regardless of what can be said.
Therefore, make no mistake. Pairing rules are important to understand and take advantage on how to best combine the flavours of food and wine. The classical pairings below can be easily found in specialized books, sites and blogs. They are safe and an interesting experience for those willing to prove how pairing works in practical – delicious – terms.
Before we start, I would like to state my own opinion: there is nothing more personal than taste, therefore, here are some traditional pairings, tested and tasted over and over, until they are proved harmonious.
– Oysters with Chablis Traditional
– Foie Gras Pate with Sauternes
– Grilled Chicken with Beaujolais
Our sommelière Lívia Novais has chosen a number of recipes from the traditional Portuguese cuisine, and some others which are more contemporary, to pair with Pessoa da Vinha wines. They are available here in the site. Check them out