So I like eating. And I like drinking. They’re both great! But together they can become something quite extraordinary. The concept of wine pairing is a very complex and much debated part of this food science, so it is with trepidation that we delve into this arcane and controversial topic.
Researching this topic, I found lots of angry comments on other people’s blogs. I almost didn’t write this post but then I remembered I have my Wine Saints to fall back on. More from them later.
I suppose the reason food and wine pairing is so controversial and the cause of many gastronomical arguments is that it’s very subjective. Where one person might taste sweetness, another might sense savoury. One person might detect tobacco notes, the person in the next seat might notice a nuttiness.
The beauty of this is that – unlike my paper for my college law finals – there’s no wrong answer. If you like eating bowls of corn flakes with a glass of Burgundy, then you go, Glen Coco! Don’t you listen to anyone.
If there’s magic when you eat and drink two things together, you’re on to a winner. Much like this scene in Ratatouille:
For a conventional food and wine pairing, this great little infographic I found gives some basics. Of course there are exceptions, so remember to only use this as a guide.
Infographic courtesy of Visual.ly – click to enlarge.
And let’s not forget it’s also a great cigar accompaniment.
But what do our beloved Wine Saints think about this? Let’s ask them:
“Traditional dishes that go with Shiraz are lamb and beef, especially the former…. It’s a true red meat red and is also a hit with game like venison. Some say it’s not the wine for cheese but others are fans with a hard cheese like a tough cheddar…”
We suggested strawberries might work with a Shiraz. St Paul wasn’t impressed:
“Sorry, but I’m not convinced on the strawberries… Maybe we try it next catch-up!”
Let’s do that, Paul!
Shiraz is the wine I enjoy drinking the most. I always feel confident on the price / region / notes that I am getting something I know I’ll like. For me I can drink it with almost anything; from chicken to beef (though I guess steak – especially beef – is my go-to meat), blue cheese, on its own… I had a friend who would really enjoy a cigar with a nice bottle of Shiraz.
Umm… ha ha! Couldn’t help notice you using the ol’ past tense there, Pete: ‘had a friend’? Do we need to talk? Anyway, what about food you’d avoid when eyeing up a nice bottle of Shiraz?
What don’t I drink Shiraz with? One thing I don’t drink it with (ok, sometimes I do!) is spicy food.
“Nothing very interesting to contribute here I’m afraid. Barbecued eye fillet and chips with St Hallett Single Vineyard Sonntag Barossa Valley Shiraz ($22, Vintage Cellars). Hugely satisfying. Forgot to mention the wine to you the other day – it’s exceptional for the price.”
Thank you, St Andrew – I’ve already bought two bottles! Anything else to add?
“Dark chocolate and Shiraz very good too!”
So there you have it, folks. If you’re ever in any doubt about what to eat with your big bold red, remember the Saints’ tips.
What do you eat when you’re getting stuck into a bottle of Shiraz? Tell us in the comments!